Three birch candle lamps flicker on the wooden dresser next to a vase of light-strewn branches. A scarf from my closet back home is spread across the surface, a makeshift forest emerging from branches of gray reaching through the ivory linen. This corner makes the space feel like home. It will be home, at least for the next week. Beannacht. I am blessed.
A week on the mountain, here at Shrinemint, feels like an escape from the world. For me, time away from routine is not only a reprieve but a necessity. I have the honor to hold this space in my heart and soul for the next week, serving as chaplain to campers and staff. My self-described, “assistant sharing half a genome” is with me, too, making this a mother-daughter adventure. We have stepped apart from our world of routine. I am stepping apart from the routines that keep me too busy…even too busy, it seems, to write. But, I have deeply missed recording the small points of light that guide my path. And, I have been reminded of late that others miss these reflections, too.
It occurs to me that this is a time where we need enlightenment, perhaps more than any time I can remember. News is too often tragic; politics are too often divisive. It can feel as if we exist to be cruel. But these are not the dark ages. We live in the light, if we open our eyes to see it, because Divine Light enfolds us, always.
Today, there was light in the bright green caterpillar crawling on a rock that someone stopped to point out to me. There was light in the counselor who asked me if I was here for staff or just campers, and light in the conversation which emerged when I smiled a “yes, and” and felt myself shift to a new role emerging in my own life. There was light in forgiveness, and in laughter. The light shining here is simple. No bright LED glaring. Just soft, flickering enlightenment. Perhaps that gentle glow is more necessary in our world than the piercing glare of a beacon. Sometimes, it is the soft light which illuminates most clearly.
As for me, I write this in the soft glow of lights that help me make peace with my smallness, and embrace awe with the Immensity which flows through me when I am still enough to open. Beannacht. Again, I am blessed.
I don’t know where small points of light will emerge in my days here, but I know in my soul, beyond a doubt, that they will. I hope you will share the journey with me, in this space where soft light can enlighten our surroundings and beckon us toward the healing which we so deeply need. (En)Lightened, indeed.