Lights in 2012

Dear Friends,

A brand new day in a brand new year greets us. The sun is out and the birds are flying and singing overhead.
Let’s make every effort to begin anew to move about early this morning. We will feel better and
get the new year off to a good start.

A couple of weeks ago, my daughter (16) went to the beach with some friends. Before embarking on her adventure,
she single-handedly decorated the Christmas tree, put up the Christmas lights on the front porch and placed her
favorite items on the various counters and tables that she had previously prepared for them. Christmas is her
favorite time of the year and decorating for the holidays is something she thoroughly takes pleasure in. I enjoyed
watching her; secretly delighted that I was off decorating duty for another year!

She and her friends had agreed on a drop-off point so that I didn’t have to drive very far in the holiday traffic.
I appreciated this compromise and made every effort to be ready at the appointed time. We loaded up the car
with her belongings. On our way to the meeting place, my daughter went over a list of things that needed to
be done while she was away. My husband was in New York at the same time and their shared responsibilities
(feeding our four dogs, etc.) needed to be taken care of by me for the next few days. She was apologetic, recognizing
that I had my share of tasks for the Festival of Lights in Atenas as well. I assured her that I would be capable
of taking care of everything and I made her promise that she would be carefree and enjoy her well-deserved holiday.

As we were saying our farewells, my daughter gave me one last instruction: “Mom, don’t forget to
turn on the porch lights when you go out in the afternoon. Remember that you don’t like to return to a dark house.”
I was momentarily taken aback by this pronouncement. It was one of those moments when it became clear to me
that my casual (but repeated) expressions on this point had made an indelible mark on her. I smiled and nodded, internally
appreciative of the fact that my needs were heard and given importance. The days that followed went quickly. We kept
in touch minimally because we were both so involved in our own events.

The Festival of Lights was a tremendous success. It was very late and very dark by the time I drove back to my house.
The cacophony made by our four dogs reached my ears many meters before I actually got to the entrance. Despite
my fatigue and annoyance with our dogs’s noise, my spirits lifted when I caught a glimpse of the twinkling lights.
I was invigorated immediately when I felt myself welcomed back into my realm. I was ready to take on the neediness
of our lonely pets whose racket had now changed to an affectionate greeting! I was grateful I had remembered to turn on
the lights before I left.

May 2012 be a year full of light, health and community for us all.

Have a great day and a great week, Marietta

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