A couple of weeks ago, I was walking my two young daughters home from school. As usual, the walk was filled with all sorts of animated stories and tidbits from the day that was, and I was eagerly listening to it all.
In the midst of hearing about the latest in playground politics and quiz scores, my nine-year-old suddenly asked, “Hey Mom – do you want to know what my favourite Bible verse is?” Pleasantly surprised, I prompted her to go ahead. “”No one lights a lamp and then covers it with a bowl or hides it under a bed,” quoted Elissa. “A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house.”
I was touched. We’re not exactly a scripture-quoting family, but Christianity is central for both my husband and myself, and this was one of the first times I could see that it was really resonating with Elissa, too. I also love that her favourite verse – taken from Luke 8:16 – is such a beautiful metaphor; for all the cryptic, debateable passages in the Bible, this one is pretty darn clear: Share life’s goodness with those around you.
I was reflecting on Elissa’s verse when our family took a trip to Upper Canada Village for the Alight at Night Festival. We were all a bit tired and cranky leaving the house that evening, and the hour-long car trip to Morrisburg was a bit daunting. But I’m so glad we went.
When we stepped out into the crisp winter night, we noticed something right away – it was so still. It was so peaceful and relaxing to be transported out into the country that evening; I could literally feel the stress of the day melt away.
Out of the darkness, the first glimpse of beautiful lights made us collectively catch our breath. We took a wagon ride around the entire village, and our jovial driver, Pete, invited our girls to take turns riding on the front bench with him to get a closer look at the horses. What a charming, down-to-earth country gentleman he was – chatting with our six-year-old about her love of ponies.
After a stop for old-fashioned cinnamon buns and hot chocolate, we watched a very cool musical lights show, where the lights were synchronized with several Christmas songs. Finally, we stopped in at a quaint little church, where a young woman and a pianist were leading visitors in a caroling session. The church, bathed in blue lights, looked so beautiful and serene against the dark sky.
I realized that it was exactly one year ago today that I posted about Ottawa’s Taffy Lane, and how our family’s visit there caused my husband and I to reflect on the effects of the Connecticut elementary school shooting.
There are certain moments in life that cause you to just step back – waaay back – to take inventory of what is important in life. I know that Connecticut was one of those moments that – for me, was a reminder of what an incredible impact every one of us has on those around us.
This Christmas season – and in the year ahead – in those inevitable dark moments that life brings, I hope that I can offer up just a little bit of light.