“Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.” – Anne Lamott
Anchored on a rock, the light above never wavers. At its origin the rays are at its most intense and pure. There is constant illumination. A gentle hand allows the traveler to navigate an uncertain terrain.
My propensity to analyze the pendulum swing between happiness and sadness creates a lingering amnesia. I forget about the light. Attaching myself into the emotion of the moment, I turn my back on the constant. The light. My life tilts too much toward reacting. And these reactions are at the core of a very attached life. I care far too much about the transient, spanning from the mundane to the serious. Part of this hold stems from my reluctance to let go and adjust to change. I am unable to live and let live. Worrying about matters that will have very little bearing on MY life, my energy scatters across a thousand different unimportant specks of light.
This morning, in a conversation with my Mom, she told me something that she’s adopted in her own life. My usual conversations with her are about the ordinary. Her first questions are usually about her granddaughter and what she is up to during the day. We may talk about her day and the plans she has with her friends. We seldom discuss the philosophical, but when we do, it leaves an impression. She confessed that lately she’s held on to one particular truth: That WE give birth to happiness or sadness. The light starts with us. Despite life and death, happiness and sadness, constancy and change, we are the masters of our own emotions.
This is something I’ve read about in various books and blogs, but when advice comes from your Mom, the universe is signaling that you must pay attention. Part of her advice centers around divorcing ourselves from circumstances, people, and change. Digging deep, the idea is to know that the light is always present. It isn’t something that is separate from you, but exists despite the ways we vacillate, slip, and fall.
Welcome! I am a lawyer turned freelance writer, essayist, and editor. On staff at Literary Mama and the co-founder and co-editor of the literary journal, The Sunlight Press, my essays and reported work have appeared in The Washington Post, The Lily, Saveur, Civil Eats, Brain, Child, ESPN and elsewhere. I am currently at work on a memoir on grief and culture and how it provides perspective on life’s ordinary graces. I invite you to appreciate the ordinary with me. I hope my daily practice of seeing the magic in the mundane helps you celebrate and find more of these moments in your life too. Read More