They said it’s fun! It’s exciting! It’s a party! It’s the holiday of lights!
But she sees darkness everywhere. She is too young to speak, too young to be heard but she knows. A holiday of lights that sees dark arguments, cynicism, put downs and perfectionism is not light.
Despite her young age, she is smart and knows that she needs to join along in this charade or she will be the next target. She sits pretty and smiles, uncomfortable in the dress that has been chosen for her and pretends that all she sees is light.
But she knows, how dark it really is and that all the bright lights are a cover for the deep darkness in their souls, a darkness that even a million lights can not lessen. A darkness that has taken over their lives and does not allow their Spirit to soar.
Though she pretends to be like them, her Spirit refuses to be silent and as young as she is, she knows that the time will come when it will be safe for her Spirit to soar.
She has been warned that she must sit with them now and smile, and she does so with grace. Her Spirit, however, finds a hiding place, a dark closet under the stairwell, bereft of any bright lights but full of inner light, of love and acceptance. Her Spirit stays hidden and safe, patiently waiting for the time when it will be safe for Her to soar and bring light into her life.
Her Spirit is patient and waits decades.
Years later she is preparing for the holiday of lights in her own home, and is speaking to her young child, who is wearing an uncomfortable suit which has been chosen for him.
It’s fun! It’s exciting! It’s a party! It’s the holiday of lights, she tells him.
And then she takes one moment away from the mad preparations, looks in her child’s eyes and sees fear and bewilderment. She knows he overheard the yelling and crying that went on to the wee hours of the night. He knows the fear that is in this home.
Her child knows the darkness in the festively decorated room and is doing what she did so well many years back as a young child and smiling because he know that he needs to pretend that it is light. She sits beside her child and holds his hand and feels the Spirit that still resides inside him.
As her hand grasps his tightly, memories come back to her, memories of a time when she was too young to talk and be heard, yet knew the difference between true light and dark. Memories of the time she promised her Spirit that one day, when it would be safe, she would soar and bring light into her life.
She holds his hand and begins to walk away. Her walk quickly turns to a run and then she is flying as she leaves the place where the darkness is so strong that a million lights can not diminish it and finds a home for herself, her Spirit and her child. A home of love and acceptance where Spirits are free to soar.