When I was a child, I went to an elementary school with arts-inspired curriculum. It was the 80’s, the concept of supporting the whole child in education was new, but all those hippies had to educate their kids some place. Our holiday celebration was not the re-telling of of the birth of Christ, but was much more and inspiringly called Light & Life.
I don’t remember much about these annual shindigs other than an abundance of candles and twinkling lights. However, I do remember the mission: to celebrate light in a time of darkness. To celebrate life when the world feels dead. Light & Life.
This afternoon I went to my child’s Holiday All-School. The school is much like the one of my own youth but better because we know more about educating the whole child. It is filled with the children of children of hippies who walk alongside hipster kids’ kids, preppy gals children, and all sorts of named cultures, non-cultures, and in-betweens. We’ve got it all. And, together, we lit a candle.
As the Head of School took the candle from the hands of a child, lit it, and sent peace to the world…I took a deep breath in and silently thanked the universe for keeping my child safe. I silently thanked the universe that I no longer live next door to Newtown, where my high school has been contemplating how to do a lock down on a multi-building campus, where my oldest friends have had to watch funeral processions slide by with tiny caskets. And I silently sent my love to anyone who might need it. Anywhere.
Do not joke about a mythical Mayan Apocalypse when worlds are ending every day. Please. It offends my heart.
Instead let us spend solstice celebrating the light the gleams through darkness, the life that goes on living whether we want it to or not, and the chance to make amends, make change, make life, make light, and continue on. Let us celebrate the lengthening of days and the turning of the earth. Let us recognize the joy in small things and set aside our paltry love affairs with useless worries and imagined emergencies. Let us celebrate Light & Life.