Because I’m feeling the need for those small lights in the darkness that send a message two thousand years old: “You did your worst, but we’re still here.”

Diwali has come and gone –
any light it left behind has dimmed,
lost in the shadow of later events –
darkness, division, disenchantment
and encroaching despair.

But this is the seasons of lights in the darkness,
and the calling of bells –
the rebellious candles of Chanukah
and the innocent ones of Saint Lucia,
the warm hearthfires of Sinterklaasdag,
the conscience-fires of Kwanzaa,
the peals for every earthly desire of Omisoka,
and those for peace at CHristmas.

This year,
can we kindle enough flames,
can we keep the bells ringing
to call us together
to do whatever is needed:
to resist, to protect, to stand forth
or to heal?