Thursday, February 2, 2017

Lighting a Candle

Today is one of my's a link to my Irish/Scots roots as well as an acknowledgement of my Christian faith.  Today is Candlemas. 

February 2 is an old Celtic holiday that has come down from the midst of time--a celebration to mark midwinter when a bonfire would be lit to welcome the return of the sun and the hope for warmth in the lengthening of daytime. 

But it is also an ancient Christian holiday:  it is the Feast of the Purification of Mary and the Presentation of  the Child Jesus in the temple when he was declared by St. Simeon to be the Light of the World.  It is a time when the faithful bring candles to the church to be blessed

So for a few quiet minutes on this day in the early darkness of the morning, I lit a candle to bless the darkness. 

I thought about the past--my candlestick was made from an antique spool from one of the old New England woolen mills and decorated with a decoupage picture of a pretty robin (which is the name of the sister I never knew who died at birth) by my grandmother Nana; it reminds me of my roots and my family and the value of women as "spinsters."  I thought about the present, and I was reminded to be grateful for home and hearth, for friends and neighbors, for the opportunities that open before me daily.  I held hope in my heart for good things coming in the future. 

You are the light of the world.
A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.
Instead they put it on its stand,
and it gives light to everyone in the house. 
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:  14-16, NIV

Light a candle today.
Contemplate all of the warmth so close at hand.
Reach out for it.
Life is good.

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