WHAT DOES RAIN DO TO A LIGHT FOR LIFE?
Date Published: December 12, 2012
Less than two hours before the event, it started to pour trouble. Light for Life had run smoothly up to that instant and suddenly it was drowning. I just rested in the present, knowing that every moment is exactly as it should be. What else could I do!? I was going to talk about embracing all of life; I could embrace a bit of rain. Well, maybe it was more than a few drops. There were hundreds of puddles and it didn’t seem like they would magically evaporate within the next hour. The sunny image in my mind of the venue taunted me.
We set up the welcoming table in the driest place we found… Under the roof in front of St Agnes Church. Friends and supporters started to arrive with distraught looks, wondering what would happen, yet determined to attend and allow the evening to sort itself out, one step at a time. The donations box timidly filled up and our guests held the print out of a song I wrote and the Metta sponsored brown bag of the event. Inside were a candle, a cute note to write what you are thankful for and a purple bracelet reading Light for Life.
Meanwhile, the church was overflowing with people dressed in dark suits and reflecting solemn faces. Mrs Elortegui, the wonderful teacher whom we were supporting with our event, had passed away three days earlier. That night, they were holding a mass for her and the community came out in hoards to honor her life. The timing was perfectly challenging. The guests for our event could not park because the service was not over yet and we disrupted the atmosphere with our animated talk as we greeted our brave neighbors.
The service cleared slowly and it was confirmed… We would be allowed to hold the event inside the church, more than one hour after our scheduled time. The current hologram of reality was very different to the event we envisioned during the past month.
No moon light above us, nor standing up together as a community to light candles and send our healing love. We had planned to have Nickelle to share her growth but she couldn’t come because her 3 year old daughter Ava was going through rough days.
Some people considered moving the event to the following day. How would we inform everyone of the change? No. The event had to go on, just as life goes on. The families of Ava and Marta march on steadily even in the face of unfavorable circumstances… So would we.
Mrs Rivera, the school’s principal, graciously allowed us to use the facilities to host our event. As she struggled to silence the small but rambunctious crowd, she introduced me and I found my way up to the lectern. The microphone was attached, meaning I would be constrained too. One more X on my list; I had been hoping to move around. As I ran my eyes along pews peppered with onlookers, heavy energy weighed down on me. Rain, parking issues, death, tardiness, the solemnity of church, unlit candles and possibly hunger. It was time to change the vibe.
There were two deeply engrained thoughts that kept me afloat. I firmly believed that the event was not simply it’s duration. It had been the whole process beginning the day Menchi told me about the little girl with cancer and her courageous mom. Light for Life was the experience of making new friends, connecting with Ava and Marta (sick with Cancer), writing and sharing through my blog, bringing the community together, being graciously supported by the sponsors, friends and neighbors, the inspiration for a song, and all the blessings and insights received by opening our hearts. The second thing that allowed me to remain grounded was that I could talk about embracing life and also be a living example of it.
The event was far from what we envisaged it to be. Since we weren’t attached to the outcome and our mission was to give, it was a huge success. We sparked a light of hope and determination… We will stand firmly embracing all of life, knowing an unequivocal truth: as we saturate our hearts with love, they will overflow with inspiration and send healing light into the World.
Light for Life.
Shine bright people.