Sunday, April 24, 2011

The light

The church bells tolled solemnly, filling the air with a metallic sound. No matter the event, this sound has always been ominous to my ears and I usually hurried along, head low.

This time, I wasn't in a hurry to go anywhere. I was standing among the mass of people, huddled around the church in the street, in the parking lot. We were all listening to the bell, waiting.

A little after midnight, the little flickers of light started moving out of the church and spread among the crowd, passed on from person to person. Soon, everyone had a lit candle in their hands.

The wind was blowing in gusts, making the tiny flames dance and shiver. We tried to cover them with plastic cups, with our hands, not letting the light go out. Some succeeded, others had theirs blown out and had to ask their neighbour to help them light theirs again.

Slowly, the masses started dissipating, each on their way home, carrying their prized candles in their hands. Walking home, with one hand over the plastic cup we had improvised as shelter for the lights, I could feel the heat on my palm. That heat was very familiar.

Every year, on Easter, I would go with my family to a nearby church at midnight, to get some light. Every year, the same nervousness, joy, worry about the little candle in my hand. We would sometimes stay for the mass too, singing Easter songs and saying to one another the traditional words "Christ has resurrected" and "Truly he has."

This year, I looked at my little candle with new eyes. Harder eyes, thinking that all of this was a cute charade, but nothing more. The only thing I had left was walking home, taking care of the candle. The little symbolic light of hope that I somehow needed to keep alive.

Happy Easter everyone!


  1. I don't think it was a cute charade, Lavi. It is important that these age old traditions are carried on. My faith is strong, and I can't imagine going through life without that faith. Happy Easter to you.

  2. Unfortunately, I know I offend a lot of people who believe in God with my lack of faith, but my beliefs have changed in time. I now prefer to turn to people and discover wonderful qualities in them. This is my faith and has helped me be a better person overall than any religion has ever been able to.

  3. I do not attend church and neither am I religious. I feel closest to the source of light and love when I am totally at peace, in my garden or in the silent spaces of nature, surrounded by beauty.

  4. Yes, Desiree, my thoughts exactly. It's like a peaceful harmony that envelops you.

  5. Happy Easter, Lavi.

    Despite being brought up in a charismatic Christina home, with a ton of religious dogma, my views on faith have changed tremendously over the past few years as well.

    I expanded on it a little bit here
    when the season of Lent started.

    At the end of the day, each to his own. There is no one way of doing practically anything! As long as each person finds their own peace.

  6. Just popped by to thank you for letting us know about the contaminated dog food in SA! My husband said it was on last night's new (on TV) - apparently the brands mentioned are at the lower end of the spectrum (to be honest, I haven't heard of them or even seen them on our supermarket shelves). Sadly, that will mean those dog owners who are at the lower end of the income earning spectrum and who depend on the cheaper brands will be hit hardest as will the dogs in their care! Thank goodness the problem has been picked up and the general public alerted...thank YOU for helping to spread the word, Lavi!!!

    BIG HUG,
    Des xoxo

  7. It's interesting the paths we take toward a spiritual life. This is a wonderful post, a perfect Easter bit of new life.

  8. Thank you, everyone, for the kind words. Our Easter had a happy ending, though pooch had a close encounter of the third kind with a hot sausage...

    I guess we're all just finding our own religion and beliefs.

    Desiree, I haven't heard of the brands either and apparently this happened in the North of the country, but better safe than sorry.


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