Posting days 51 and 52 together. Different takes on a lamp. 🙂
This was a serendipitous moment. We were stopped at a traffic signal waiting to turn left. I looked to my right and saw the sun low in the sky and thought I’d grab a shot or two. The first two shots were complete failures. The third shot caught a telephone pole as Richard was pulling through the light. I snapped a fourth shot, sure that it was nothing but a blur as we pulled into the intersection and then on toward our destination. The sun was no longer in sight. When I got home and downloaded the four images, this, the fourth, was the only image I kept. 🙂 I love it when that happens!
Woven through a dreary day are streaks of lacy light. Winter is here no doubt about it. Too much inside time, not enough outside. One day every week it doesn’t matter. One day to clean and cook, one day to forget about what happens outside our door. One day to concentrate on preparation. Contemplating the onset of darkness offers rays of light. I work tirelessly. I’m no balabusta, but the place must be clean, the meals must be cooked, think of the light. Minutes away, is everything done? . . . the crescendo peaks, the light is here. Ahhhhh… finally Shabbos.
Tonight we kindle the eight lights of Chanukah. During the time of the Macabees, Chanukah signified the miracle of the few over the many, darkness illuminated by a light that increased each day. Take a few minutes to contemplate the power of darkness and the power of light. In darkness we are lonely, fearful, ashamed, oppressed. In a dark room we cannot see where we are going or what we are doing. If darkness fills every inch of space in a room, we are blind. But light one match, one candle; the amount of space taken up by the flame is minuscule compared to the space occupied by darkness, yet that tiny flame can illuminate the entire room. And if each day you add even a little more light, the darkness becomes less daunting, until the eighth night when all the flames are lit and darkness is no more! This is the miracle of Chanukah. In that regard, the miracle of Chanukah continues to occur each day. We learn from an historical event, but the miracle continues and is real today. Every kind word or good deed is a flame that illuminates the darkness of someone’s spirit. Every joyful expression, act of compassion, or sympathy extended, we contribute to the miracle of someone’s life. Each time we shed a little light for someone else to see their way forward, and with every prayer we utter to benefit the spirit of some soul and thus the spirit of this world, we are kindling the Chanukah light! A miracle occurs!
If you are able on this last night of Chanukah, draw up a seat near the Menorah, gaze at the flames as they flicker, and begin to reflect on the miracles you have experienced in life. After a while, one begins to realize that life itself is a miracle of magnificent proportion. Reflect on times when you felt G-d’s hand guiding you, times when you were saved from danger, times when the odds were stacked against you yet a miracle occurred and you prevailed. As you reflect on the miracles of your life, and the miracles of Chanukah, open to the wonder of your life and the events that have brought you to this place in this time.
Just like the menorah whose light grows with each day, others will begin to reflect back the light, too, much like a window reflects back the light of each Chanukah flame and the miracle it represents.
Finally, as you recognize the Chanukah miracle that lives within you, and with the acceptance of your life’s current reality, be open to receive greater!
I humbly thank you for taking a Chanukah journey with me this year. It has been a blessing for me to review and reflect on the meaning of Chanukah, the customs we observe, games we play, food we eat, and to share this special holiday with you. As we head into the new year, may you be blessed with prosperity of body, mind and soul; may you celebrate life’s joys, grieve its losses, and carry the miracle of Chanukah where ever you travel.
Chag Chanukah Sameach!
- A story of a Jewish soldier fighting in George Washington’s Army. (drschiffman.wordpress.com)
- The vessel & the light: a chanukah perspective on modesty (baalteshuvablog.wordpress.com)
This is my first attempt at this photo challenge; watching the sun rise from my balcony.