Celebrating the light in our lives

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It is that time of year when we celebrate the return of light into our lives. Some think of this light in terms of our savior Jesus Christ being born amongst men.

Some see it as Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights. Others think of the sun sharing more of its warmth and light by virtue of longer days and shorter nights once we’re on brighter side of Dec. 21, the day we mark as winter solstice, and the darkest and shortest day of the year.

This year I’d like to pay tribute to the light differently. Instead of focusing on those bigger cosmic and spiritual events, I feel like paying a bit of attention to those who bring light into my life every day. They do it in such an ordinary sort of way that it’s easy to forget that it happens at all.

I feel very fortunate to be able to say that family brings much light into my world, as I know that not everyone can say that. My husband, in particular, brings with him an energy of joyful purpose that sets a good example for me and anyone else caring to look a little more closely. His presence in my life also brings with him a built-in family, including all the love and light that being a grandmother has to offer. There’s really nothing quite like the light of an innocent baby to fill your heart.

Then there are the animals in my life, all of whom bring smiles and happiness by their unabashed antics and simple expectations. Our cat, Pumpkin, has a lot to say when it comes to communicating her needs and desires. Life just wouldn’t be the same without her bossing us around to open doors, fill the water dish, open a tastier can of food, or move something that’s on her favourite spot on the couch.

Canine energy is different, it being filled with unconditional affection and unbridled excitement over the outside world. I am fortunate to have friends who let me share time with their dogs on walks and short visits. It’s a blessing that makes my footsteps lighter, especially on heavy sorts of days.

Speaking of friends, what better way is there to brighten a dark day than have a good old-fashioned chin wag with a friend? Friends are great for helping get things done, for cheering us up, and for listening when we don’t feel heard. There’s nothing better than knowing you have a friend, and there’s nothing brighter than a true-blue friendship.

And what about those whom we hardly know, or don’t know at all, but who somehow manage to brighten our day anyway? They are the bank tellers, the coffee servers, the gas bar attendants, the disc jockeys on the radio, the grocery store cashiers, the men and women and children who hold open a heavy door, and the strangers who give us a nod and a smile as we pass them on the street.

Life can be so marvelous when we have all kinds of bright and shiny interactions throughout our day. A very dear friend recently commented, “It doesn’t take a lot of light to illuminate the darkness.” If every ray counts, then it’s essential for us to spread a little light of our own around, too.

As for me, I am truly grateful for all the light that so many others bring into my life. It’s like a Christmas miracle, only it’s a miracle that lasts all year long. Remembering to celebrate and give thanks for all the light in our lives—now that’s in our best interest.

For more in your best interest, follow Sheelagh @sheesays or visit www.ideagarden.net.

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