driving out the darkness

Dear Kids,
Today we brought the light into the darkest, dirtiest room in the house. Since the first time I walked up into this big old attic, I’ve had dreams to finish it off. We were going to wait until we had the time and money, preferably when these two resources aligned. But, will we ever have the time? Will we ever have the money? In 5 years you will be a teenager, Auggie. Will you want to play with your wooden castle when you are 14? In another sixty months, will you still throw on your cowboy hat and become a bandit while spitting out lines from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly? Will you be able to find the magic in the hidden spaces of this 146 year old attic after our Christmas decorations come down these steep steps 4 more times?
I just don’t know and I’m tired of waiting.
I think in life you always have to be looking for the light. But sometimes, you have to make your own light using the gifts you have been given.
For as long as I can remember I’ve had this innate desire to want to make things beautiful. The gift is  the desire and not necessarily my talents or abilities. I remember as a little girl, I would pick these beautiful purple and pink wild flowers that grew in the woods behind our home and put them in vases all over the room I shared with your Aunt Audora and everything just felt more beautiful. This desire has always been intermingled with my love for the rusty and chipped, the broken and bent; I will always pick the old over the new. I want all of the timeworn things to glow with the warmth of sparkling twinkle lights or flowers picked from the woods behind my home, and I could not turn off this feeling even if tried.
That is why today, as the rain fell heavy on our roof and the skies were painted grey, we brought the light into the darkness. I hope you all remember how we did this; we did not set up big lamps in the corners or cut new windows into the walls. We did not look for the largest wattage to screw into the ceiling. Today, we strung one thousand tiny sparkling twinkle lights to each other until their combined light grew so large that even the cobwebs in the corners seemed to be a thing of beauty. I ended up taking that old brass chandelier that was sitting in the corner and I hung it from the ceiling, without any electricity, just dangling from the raw wood beams. But, the glow from our tiny lights, all lined up like soldiers in formation, reflected on that dull light fixture and no one could deny that it almost came alive with radiance. Before we knew it, light seemed to reflect light and the dark wood planked ceilings appeared to be glistening like the embers in a burning fire.
I will not regret that today we skipped math and reading for the sake of bringing the light. This is a skill you should learn and hone because keeping things in the dark is easy; it’s the shining of light that is hard. On this cold and rainy day in October we proved that even the tiniest light can be used to drive out the darkness.

Absolutely never allow circumstance to kill your desire to shine.

There is always a box of Christmas lights hidden somewhere, you just have to find them.




songs will forever be the ultimate sparker of memories for me. if  this ends up to be true for you too, 20 years from now, Jamine Thompson’s version of “Not about Angels” might bring you right back to the attic where we hung all those strands of twinkle lights..we listened to a very short playlist on repeat while my phone was stuck on one of the high ceiling beams…Josh Garrels “don’t wait for me” and Gregory Alak Isakov “if i go, i’m going” will also be in my head until tomorrow….



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