Tiny Lights, Tea Cups and Snowflakes

27 Dec

The other night I went to a Chinese Lantern Festival in Dallas. I walked through scenes that looked like something out of Alice and Wonderland or Willy Wonka. Beautiful lit-up sculptures looked ordinary until you got closer and realized they were made of out teacups or thousands of tiny vials filled with colored water.

Chinese Dragon made out of China

Things look different when they are filled with light. 

At 2 am Christmas day I cried tears of frustration during a rainstorm while sitting in my car in the middle of the road on a hill about a mile from my apartment, after in my busyness of last minute christmassy to-do’s, I  forgot to get gas. Then I laughed for awhile, because what else can you do while waiting there helplessly for your rescuer?


Later in the morning I cried again in the shower after hearing my families voices on the phone, water running over my head, mixing with my tears making them obsolete.  And I thought on how I bury my emotions, how I talk myself out of missing people, how I think I can make it alone.

“Sometimes you need to let people take care of you,”

A wise, close friend spoke, a simple statement in the context of a simple conversation, but it hit my chest and exploded in my heart.

Sometimes you need to let other’s light illuminate your own dark places. 

And I drove on Christmas day through rain, thinking melancholy thoughts, trying to allow joy in, wondering about the hows and whens of unforeseen days. Everything outside was soaked and shivering, grey and cold.

And I almost stopped breathing as I exited off the treacherous highway to a familiar road, the closest thing to a consistent home I have had in my inconsistent life the past few years. In a moment of unexpected Christmas magic, raindrops turned to white flakes, as if by exiting I had entered some secret portal into a giant snow globe. The white stuck to the ground, cleansing the surroundings and allowing hope to barrel into my heart, like a child flying down a hill on a sled.

I let the day unwrap before me, a gift of exquisite design in the form of familiar faces, breaking crescent rolls, warm and smooth choclate-y drinks, hugs, unexpected laughter and kind words.

I allowed my mind to dwell on these moments, to shove out the age-old worries and fears, anxiousness about life’s timing.

From now all your troubles will be out of sight. 

And I appreciate that Christmas is at the end of the year, because it is, in a way I understand more and more, a wrapping up of a year of bounty, a celebration of light and color, a glimpse of hope for the coming year.

We all know the story behind it like we know the over-sung tunes, but how this story of grace unfolds looks differently.

Sometimes it looks like thousands of ordinary household dishes, sculpted carefully together and lit up with lights to make something extraordinary.

Sometimes it looks like waiting in the pouring rain at 2 am and realizing yet again I am helpless on my own.

Sometimes it looks like pure white covering a barren ground,

or one tiny twinkling light, a part of a strand of a thousand, overcoming the darkness.

2 Responses to “Tiny Lights, Tea Cups and Snowflakes”

  1. gale the mom December 30, 2012 at 10:38 am #

    Keep writing…… another 100 pages…. I need to spend more time there.
    Love. mom

  2. Amanda MacLean January 3, 2013 at 11:56 pm #

    I like this a lot. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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