be the light
You take out the rubbish, the news still playing in your head.
You hold back threats of war, famine, disease, ignorance, murder, hate – the daily plurality of disasters that threaten, diminish, and kill our world. And then there’s interest rates, that disconnection notice, the real risk of redundancies. And you’re not getting any younger.
You think of the young girl, who quietened her fear of missiles by painting, by creating her own dream life, to be like her father, to make a place where they can all be ‘safe’. They didn’t make it out.
In the evening gloom, you take a deeper breath and look for clues to it all in the rear way alley. The bins are kicked over again. A bicycle, chained to a lamp post for safety, is crippled, its wheels crushed. A cat looks down at you from a neighbour’s high wall – ‘what do you expect me to do about it?’
You head in.
You put the kettle on – old rituals. ‘We should get away’, you say. ‘Get some sun. There are some good deals on, just now, and why the hell not’.
Six weeks later, you’re on a ferry heading for Corfu. It was a package deal, you had just enough. The peach-warmth of late sun basks you both. The summer shower splits the light into the rainbow’s blessed arch. You look at your wife’s hand in yours, her eyes closed in bliss and a wave of gratitude overcomes you. You look up at the friendly couple, feeling all of life’s harvest inside you.
‘That was beautiful – I’ll send it to you’, she says.
A month after, you returned from the office. ‘Oh, a letter came’, she says. You pull out the photograph and see your lives, bathed in light. You see your light, the two of you. The young boy and the young girl that just wanted everybody and everything, to be alright.
It was then that you decided.
To be the light.