©Aliana Alani 2017
MANY YEARS AGO, when I was first walking the hills and vales of Ireland, getting to know its mists and magic, I discovered that a woman in Dublin had done something potent and symbolic. Her name is Mary Robinson. At the time, she was the country’s first female President. She lived in a big house called Áras an Uachtaráin, the President’s official residence. It, like she, represented Ireland. The Irish, as you may know, have an enormous Diaspora, its net casting far and wide. Mary, as I understand it, wanted a closer dialogue with the Diaspora. She wanted them to know Ireland was there for them. So she reached deep into old Irish tradition, got a lamp, put it in one of the windows of the big house where everyone could see it, and turned it on – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every year.
I THOUGHT IT WAS BRILLIANT. To me, the light in that window told the Diaspora that no matter what you might be going through or where you were, there was always a light in the House of Ireland shining for you, always a home to come back to, to visit or stay, always a soft glow emanating from the heart of The Green, for you. It was an inspiring thing to do.
FAST FORWARD TO NOW, with our world flipping itself round like some crazed malfunctioning carousel. For some, it’s a dizzying experience. For others, a descent into their worst nightmares. Surprisingly, it can also be a chance to truly live the heartfelt values many of us hold dear – values of decency and dignity, kindness and compassion, love and understanding.
‘Darkness,’ said Martin Luther King, ‘cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.’
SO HERE WE ARE, a global family, in need of light and love, perhaps now more than ever. What might we do? How can we contribute, even in some small way?
PUTTING A LAMP in the window of our homes, and turning it on – a soft glow that shines for all to see – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year round. A light, that by its very burning, says here stands a home for decency, kindness, and caring. Here shines a light of peace and love for all.
IT’S SYMBOLIC, I know, but symbols carry powerful messages. They can inspire, encourage, or create fear. Seen again and again, they embed themselves within us, often without our even realizing it. And without realizing it, we often act on them. So how be we create a symbol that inspires – a warm glow in a window – a healing light of love.
IT TAKES SO LITTLE to put a small lamp in a window and keep it burning, yet doing so speaks volumes. It is a visible sign to those in our world who desperately need to know – that they are not alone, and that someone out there truly cares. And for those of us caring, it gives courage as well.
THIS IS A LIGHT OF LOVE. If we all turned on such a light, think what it would say about our world. Think what healing might come out of that.
BE A LIGHT UNTO YOUR WORLD – in your heart, and in your home.
Such light is needed – and so are you.
So go on now – go find that lamp – TURN THE LIGHT ON!
SUGGESTIONS FOR PUTTING A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW.
A small lamp is perfect, something that creates a warm glow, that by its softness speaks of the heart. Because it is meant to be on 24/7, consider picking a low wattage bulb to minimize on the use of electricity. Or perhaps use a battery-operated candle, if you prefer. Obviously safety is important so please do not use an open-flame candle or lamp. Make sure your lamp is in a window where it can be seen from the outside. This is a visual symbol so it’s important that people can actually see it as they are passing by.
Once you have your lamp shining for all to see, spread the word – share this page (simply click one of the icons below), talk to others in your circle of friends and/or social media contacts, see if they might like to do it as well, and then if it feels right, share photos with others of your light in the window and get them to do the same. It’s a great idea that makes a powerful statement. Help it become a beacon of love for all to see.
Bless you, and thank you for casting your light and love into this world.
ONE MORE THING…
SPECIAL THANKS GO TO SHERRY GALEY – for her kindness and generosity in providing the perfect photo for me to use to present this idea to the world. I cannot thank her enough. Sherry does amazing photography. You can view her work at: www.sherrygaley.com.