this little light of mine
The Festival of Lights took place on the second weekend in October. Twinkly lights and paper lanterns hanging all over Luang Prabang.
We celebrated the Festival of Lights in two parts. In the first, we found ourselves listening to novices at Wat Pasaviet chanting, joining them in a candlelight procession around the temple, and then taking in the handcrafted stars at temples around town. Magic. It's the only word even close to adequate.
Amid the chanting and the candle lighting and the breathing it all in, I had a moment. Like a true moment with myself. It's not often that any of us staff members get a moment to ourselves. We live on the same property as the many volunteers who dedicate their time to our project. There is always something to be done or someone that has a request.
But, on that night...it felt like one all to myself. Surrounded by people I care about, I was able to find silence to bathe in. And all that silence had me feeling like I was ready to write the annual end of the year essay a few months early. Rest assured, I'm saving that bad boy for when it's due at the end of the year...but don't think I didn't consider it.
The Festival left me, once again, in absolute admiration of the place which I am currently calling home. I feel grateful that I get to spend my nights laughing as a group of us try to Zumba. I feel humbled that I get to work with students eager to have me teach them while we sit on a concrete floor and I write on a laminated sheet of paper in lieu of a whiteboard.
I feel a little light glowing from inside. It's filling, the light. Filling gaps where I once felt unsure or too serious about life. I have this little light now that makes me feel full whenever I have doubts about my direction or in those moments when I want to rush 'now' so I can see if the next adventure will be even half this wonderful.
And the next adventure always is. Life has proven thus far that each adventure is either equal or fucking better than the last.
It's that little light that reminds me life is extraordinary. It tells me to slow down. To appreciate this. To enjoy it.
I spoke with an old friend the other day and he told me I seem really happy. And while life is always full of trials and challenges, and it's not nearly as glamorous as people might think, it was one of the nicest compliments he could have given me. Because it must mean he can see that little light too.