It’s currently Hanukkah, and I just received a delightful gift, a magnet that might have been made for me!
Every Hanukkah, I laugh with Mama and Papa Snail about the first time we celebrated the holiday. We Snails are not a religious bunch, but when I was a wee hatchling of two, Mama and Papa Snail thought we should start celebrating Hanukkah to counterbalance omnipresent-Christmas (in the U.S.) so I’d grow up with some idea of what happens to be my heritage. So Papa Snail boldly ventured into a Judaica shop and purchased a menorah at a cut-rate price because it was already the second night of Hanukkah. That evening, he and Mama Snail set candles in the new menorah and lit them. This was clearly the time for a blessing, but Mama Snail had never learned the blessing, and Papa Snail–who’d been forced to attend the Jewish equivalent of Sunday School so his unreligious parents could keep up appearances–was not ready to reopen that door and sing the prayer by himself. Instead, Mama and Papa Snail proceeded to sing every song they could think of with ‘light’ or ‘fire’ in it–“Come on Baby Light My Fire” “Let Me Stand Next to Your Fire” “This Little Light of Mine” “There’s a Light Over at the Frankenstein Place”…
People worldwide light candles, gather around fires, float lanterns, and look to the stars to bring light and warmth to literally or figuratively dark, cold times. It’s undoubtedly a moth-like allurement in part, and, I think, partly a yearning for comfort and clarity. Is it any wonder that so many travel postcards feature sunsets? Light conveys so much to us. When we want to show how beautiful a place is to the folks back home, to give a sense of how happy we are on our journeys, to remember a location fondly, images of amazing light satisfy that desire. And so I present to you my favorite sunset postcards and other wonderful displays of light.
Lake Arrowhead, California
Perhaps not so obvious as a display of light, but I absolutely love the orange glow rising through the marine layer at either end of the bridge. Sigh
Firefall, Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California
from miniature postcard book of views of Washington D.C.
(Bristlecone pine, high-elevation fighter, oldest species of tree in the world. No caption–perhaps at Comb Ridge in Southeast Utah?)
Okay, not light at its most comforting, but certainly in all its awesomeness. On the reverse side, however, Mama Snail wrote about fireflies in this postcard to me on her first book tour when I was a wee snail, “The fireflies were blinking + made me think of you.”