How the Light Gets In


The chorus from Leonard Cohen’s song Anthem should be put up on every highway in America, using the old Burma-shave format. These could serve as guideposts for a chaotic and troubling time.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

Many writers  have articulated what I find so hard to describe, this vague uneasiness about the future we now face. Terri Windling and  Sylvia Linsteadt  have written compassionately about our role in keeping goodness in our world. Theirs, and other essays and posts, are remarkably positive. And the message is the same. Artists, activists, gardeners, journalists,teachers,store clerks,doctors (and the list goes on), all can contribute in small or large ways by adding to the collective light.

I have been purposely seeking out examples of individuals, organizations and businesses that contribute to the overall welfare of our complex society. Today I would like to take notice of Beth Owls Daughter and her continuing the tradition of the Solstice Advent Prayer Wreath. The concept is simple and similar to the Advent Wreath I grew up with. Each Sunday at sunset I join participants from places around the world and light a candle (or candles in successive weeks) and direct my thoughts to peace.

I honestly don’t know how I feel about focused thought. It can be easily dismissed as new age, much the same as focused prayer. But the least I can take away from lighting my candles is a sense of peace on a Sunday evening. Anything else, well, who knows?

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