This little light of mine

by Jan on October 20, 2011

One flame multiplied by mirrors in the Children's Memorial at Yad Vashem

The Children's Memorial at Yad Vashem photo by Elad Sherman

“Hope is like a nightlight in a very dark house.” ~ Rhoda Rubin

I’m very lucky. Wise women are abundant in my life. One of these women is my friend Rhoda.

In a recent visit she told me that she had been thinking about hope; she generously shared with me her description of the nightlight.

Immediately I could picture that tiny light making a big difference in our lives.

As a mother and grandmother, I have used that little light to ease the fears of children, keeping the bogymen away by showing them for what they really are, nothing more than shadows combined with vivid imagination. We all have our little bogymen and when we can see them for what they really are they lose their power, and we can sleep more peacefully.

Sometimes we are stumbling in the darkness looking to find our way. A little light—even a tiny nightlight can help us to see where we are going; it prevents us from stumbling in the dark, bumping into things and hurting ourselves.

Like tiny nightlights in the sky, the stars have been used for navigation since time began. They guide us to new destinations and connect us with a grander vision of who we are.

My friend Katrina tells us how the tiny twinkle of a distant star can connect us to others:

“I am reminded of a time when I was missing my friend who lived overseas. She told me to look up at the sky and pick out a star, then tell her what star I was looking at and know that she, too, is looking at that star. We are connected through these points of light – when we feel lost sometimes a little light (a friend, a star, a nightlight) gives us hope and comfort.”

In Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Museum, one tiny flame reflected in a series of mirrors becomes thousands of points of light, like stars in the night sky. It is an awesome sight.

In much the same way, hope lights our way too. I think that it is always within us. Its light can seem dim and as hard to reach as a star.

Sometimes we just need to reach for the light switch to turn it on.