Lanterns in the world

Yesterday was significant for a few reasons….

  1. In the US it was Veteran’s Day. I have such mixed emotions about this day. My grandfather, my dad’s dad was a veteran. I never got to meet him. He passed when my dad was a preteen but I have heard stories about him all of my life. He was a complicated character who had so many gifts but also didn’t know how to contain his aggression. He was a man of his times who fell in love with my grandmother, a younger woman, and had four kids, one of which he would never meet. The vague picture I have of him is in his military garb in a picture my dad has of him in his room. So I come from this place but I also don’t believe that so much of the US resource should be invested in military but I care deeply about veterans. I do. I even worked closely with an organization who strives to get houseless vets into housing and back on their feet. I feel it is a responsibility to care for all humans and the wholeness of humans. So you see all of the complications….but yesterday in the US it was such a day. A day that is loudly announced and comes with all of the emotions connected to complicated days.
  2. But here in Germany it was St. Martin’s day or Lanternfest or Martinmas. This is a day that honors St. Martin, the Roman soldier who saw someone freezing to death and cut his cloak in two to save the man. He then becomes a monk who fed and clothed people and eventually a Bishop. He was made Saint by the Catholic church and to honor this man kids light lanterns and go outside to sing and eat treats. I saw a few out there last night.
  3. And in my personal world, it was significant because nothing significant happened really. It had been a rough couple of days. It seems as though so many people around are just….exhausted…of the world as it is right now and have gotten short with one another. If you are on my daily devotional list right now you read about the grocery store incident. Every time there is a rough patch, at least for me, I get overwhelmed with all sorts of emotions about the holidays approaching…I get homesick and sad that I may not be able to go home for Christmas and when I think about going home for Christmas I get sad that my partner won’t be able to come with me IF there is a flight and IF it doesn’t get cancelled and IF the cases aren’t spiking and IF IF IF. BUT when I think about staying in Berlin, I get sad about waking up to Berlin greyness. All of the emotions get wrapped up in some interaction that was uncomfortable.

BUT then I have been thinking about the lanterns and what joy they bring with a small light attached. Today is Thursday and we made it thus far this week. Wednesday night brought small bouts of light shining through darkness and that was significant. We made it thus far together this week and we will make it step by step through the next days.

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