Enough Light

A long time ago, in another life, more than 15 years ago, I was a shop keeper. On Saturdays, I’d work 12 hours. After closing shop, I’d not-always-but-very,very-often drive over to my friend Jenny’s stone cottage. Her little girls were in bed, and her husband was working the night shift, and we would curl up in big overstuffed chairs in front of her wood stove. From a compartment in the stove, she’d whisk out a plate of nachos, toasty and gooey with cheese. We’d eat them messily with salsa, bites interspersed with tales of the week. Sometimes there was another kind of simple food, but usually the nachos prevailed because we loved them so much.

There was incense wafting from a wand in its holder, and the smell always lingered on my clothes even after I was home. At some point, she’d always bring me a tub of hot water, plant a kettle of boiling water beside it to replenish with, and say, “Now stick your hooves in there.” I would soak my feet until all the water got cold, then she’d rub my feet, and the hours and hours of stories and quandaries and dreams and hopes that would come tumbling out of both of us those nights are some of my dearest and most shaping memories.

We were both pilgrims on a journey, just like Christian and Faithful, and we knew very little about our path except that it led to the Celestial City.

That’s why I was ecstatic to go to a Greek island this month to be with my sister and her husband AND Jenny and her family! We had a most idyllic time, replete with all the food and swims and laughs and heart connections. And because we’re still kindred spirits and pilgrims on the way who need good footwear, we bought the same make of Greek sandals! (We like this picture because it looks like we were wearing baggy Turkish pants even though we weren’t, and even though we went to Turkey for a day.)

But I digress. Going back to the story of sitting at my friend’s wood stove in their stone cottage–

Eventually the clock would warn me that I would soon turn into a pumpkin, so I’d pull on my shoes and socks. Jenny would take the lantern that had been glowing in the window (these friends were off the grid when we first got to know them) and close the heavy wooden door behind us.

She’d take my arm and hold the lantern so we could find our way out the lane that had grass in the middle and a bend and a gate at the end. There was a little circle of light that showed us enough for the next step and kept us from crashing into shrubbery or the well or Mr. Austin, the antique car.

Just enough light for each step.

 

She’d open the gate, hug me goodbye and say, “Now be good, and God bless,” and then I was across the road and in my car, warm and smelling the incense that wrapped around me.

When I’m angsting about my present journey, and the impossible questions–how do I know? What should I prepare for whatever’s ahead? What is all this leading to? Jenny is one of my stable people who talks sense into me again. (Voxer and Whatsapp help enormously to close up the miles between us.) “Remember that lantern? It gave us enough light for the next step. We couldn’t see the end of the lane, but it got us there safely. All you have to do now is take the next step because you have enough light for that.”

In my current shadowy lanes, in my loved ones’ scary dark lanes, when I’m sure of nothing else, and I’m terrified of my imaginations of what’s around the bend, all I know and see is the circle of light beside me.

And it’s enough.

For this moment, for this step, that small pool of light is enough.

10 thoughts on “Enough Light

  1. This is precious!! Thank you!! I need these reminders too!! Every blessing!! Anna-Grace

    On Sat, Jun 30, 2018, 19:01 Tis a Gift to Receive wrote:

    > Life is For Living book posted: “A long time ago, in another life, more > than 15 years ago, I was a shop keeper. On Saturdays, I’d work 12 hours. > After closing shop, I’d not-always-but-very,very-often drive over to my > friend Jenny’s stone cottage. Her little girls were in bed, and her hus” >

  2. This is a classic. A timely truth wrapped in a lovely, cozy story. And–you guessed it–another one for the book.–Linda

  3. A sweet breath of hope for those who dread the darkness and are inhibited by the shadows. Thanks, Anita, for sharing your lantern.

  4. I need this reminder! And the reminder that God gives enough light for the step ahead; not more not less, to keep us leaning on Him.

  5. Oh, I love Jenny. She is a joy to know. Would love to sit and chat with her again. I love this, how you led up to your point, an excellent one and a beautiful way of bringing it out. However, there are times when one can be in a situation where there is no “next step” to take. I am there even now as I speak. I can’t go into detail as it would take far too long to detail the journey I’ve been through, and a few months ago I thought the “next step” I’m taking surely is the answer (a 5th surgery on my back). Long story short, it wasn’t, and now, the next step? I don’t know, I just do not know. Tears are running down my cheeks (figuratively speaking because I’m basically “teared out” as I’ve sought God’s will over and over and over and over …) as I write because I.just.don’t.know. There is no “next step, because I’ve tried many, many “next steps” over the years, and they’ve all come to a dead end. While I in no shape or form want to come across as negative or undermining what you’ve blogged (no one could have said it better), my question is, How do you take a “next step” when it’s not there? I’m not asking for an answer necessarily (although I’d accept one if there is one 🙂 ) , i’m simply saying that there are situations when one may be willing to take the next step, but the next step is a-l-l d-a-r-k, and the individual, even though willing to take it, can’t, because it’s not there. (I am debating if I should send this or delete it, so as not to take away from your excellent write)

    • Oh Treva, I’m so sorry. Thanks for being brave and sharing your hard question. I’m crying with you. It would be presumptuous of me to try to give you any answers or solutions for your present darkness. But I do care, and am glad you put this out there. I can see where this post could seem flippant or pat (even though you didn’t say that). Wish I could give you a big hug!

  6. Beautiful message, beautifully written, by one whose life lends her the authority to send such a message. I have heard the same from some whose lives appear to have thrown them no curve balls. This is encouraging.

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