On December 8, we light candles to welcome and guide Maria on her journey to Bethlehem, and with the welcoming of Maria, we light the way for all that her journey means, at least for me.
It means the start of the Christmas season here in Colombia.
It means that no matter where you live or how you live, the beauty of light and of candles is important and something that includes everyone.
It means religious division is still very present- the evangelical church held an all-night prayer vigil based on their conception of the candle lighting as demonic.
It means that we are all part of something bigger than ourselves if we want to be; we all help Maria find her way, in the same way that my friends helped me light my candles. I could have done it myself, but it would not have been as special.
It means that mischief and fun are afoot, as kids light candles and then run around and try to steal others, as adults looks on and smile at their antics.
It means that we have hope every year that this time of year will come again, that light is important, and that life is a journey we are all on. And,if this year the journey is a little rough, we can always start over, lit on our way by the candles of all of us as we travel together.