"It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness."
I'm just coming home from bunco with my friends. It's cold outside, one of the first nights that really feels like fall, but I feel warm. Nesting.
My mind is already on Thanksgiving, Advent, my word for next year. I recognize my blue door with the planter beside it filled with bricks and acorns, and when I walk in I feel supported. Surrounded on all sides by branches and brambles, cushioned by feathers I've plucked from my own skin. I sit at my paint splattered desk, Adele on the radio, a stack of books beside me. I hold a space for the evening. I light a candle.
My husband and I were in Westminster Abbey on my 25th birthday. The trip to London was really for him, a lifelong dream. We were tense, angry, strung out from jet lag and navigating the city with pocket maps. But there, in the Abbey, we heard the organ play.
I stood beneath the sweeping arches that have sheltered so many and withstood so much, wars and bombs and weddings and funerals, all wrapped up in incense. The slabs of stone, worn by the feet of so many pilgrims, just continue to stand. I imagined the songs that had been sung here, the prayers that had been prayed. How many?
On our way out my husband stopped and lit a candle for me, on my birthday. For the gift of my life. He held my hand there in the back of the church and prayed a blessing over me, thanking God for the gift of my life and for the years to come.
This is what I think about tonight as I look at the candle flickering beside me. About prayers and blessing. I light my candle and I wait. I make my peace.