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©Jodi Freedman, 2019

         I am in the infancy of my old age. It’s a good time. Old enough to know some things and young enough to want to learn some more. This time of the year always gets me thinking about those big life questions. I don’t know, maybe it’s the light. Maybe it’s the diminishing strength of the light in our northern hemisphere this time of year that gets people thinking about what matters. I read somewhere that there are 19 holidays between November and January and most have an essential light component to them. Sure there’s Christmas and Hanukkah and Diwali, but there are just so many holidays that I can’t help thinking, if 19 or so different traditions all choose to focus on the light, then they are probably onto something.

        When I was a kid, someone told me a tale about a candle. Can’t find it in any books these days but the essence of the story stays with me. Something about a king who had three sons. He would leave his kingdom to the one who could completely fill his royal storehouse with something important. So the first guy fills a room with gold coins, the next guy with precious art. The king looks at his youngest son and says, “So what have you got to top what your brothers brought?” The boy walks into an empty and dark room. He places himself in the middle of the room and lights a candle. Yes, he gets the kingdom. Material possessions, zero; light, one.

         I don’t know for sure, but I think it was my mom who told me that when you share your light with others, it never diminishes your own. I think about that a lot. And as I walk into the infancy of my old age, I am choosing to share my light with others. May your holidays include enjoying and sharing the light.

©Jodi Freedman, 2019

         Jodi Freedman is a 2019 ISI BAWP participant and is learning how to do things like take pictures and share her writing in ways that brings joy to her and others. This is Jodi’s 30th year teaching middle school. 

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