Darkness is part of life and our world, a backdrop for stars, our dreams and the space that lies in the infinity. It’s not a bad thing.
Still, every now and then, that darkness can become overwhelming. It can make us feel like we’ve fallen deep into an abyss, bottomless, where we have to sift through charcoals of grey to find speckles of light.
Sometimes we have the strength to climb out on our own, but sometimes we need a helping hand.
That’s when support is so important. When our own light goes out it can be rekindled by a spark from another person. Or something even bigger.
Community … in this case, carrying the form of a lantern.
On Friday 11th October I was one of many people who gathered throughout Australian capital cities and rural towns in support of Light the Night. A cause campaigned by the Leukaemia Foundation to raise funds for those impacted by blood cancer. An invitation from someone on her own cancer journey, my sister.
That dreaded C word these days is so prevalent. But still we smile …
A total of $101,949 was raised in 2019, much needed money to be invested in a search for a cure and the special care families need during the dark hours of a blood cancer journey. The leukaemia foundation has recently declared its bold vision:
It’s a vision that brings hope for the future. How wonderful it would be if, through continued research and fundraising, that vision becomes a reality.
Last Friday was part of that vision as we gathered at Federation Square in Melbourne.
As I stood amongst the crowd I could feel the positive energy. It was as though fear had been replaced by camaraderie and hope. There was music and laughter as well as poignant and heartbreaking stories spoken on stage that brought a lump to my throat.
Many there had lost friends and family to blood cancers. Many were there to support loved ones and many were fighting their own personal battles.
The lanterns? Blue to show you care, yellow to remember a loved one and white for those who were on their own personal cancer journey. My sister carried a white one.
The Lantern Raising ceremony was a sight to behold …
It was a night of reflection and hope for a brighter future.
As dusk turned into darkness and the night deepened, it was transformed into a sea of glowing light.
We walked from Federation Square and across the Yarra River to the music and words of ‘Lanterns’ by Birds of Tokyo.
With a midnight song
We will light our way
With our lanterns on
On we march
Till we meet the dawn
We will light our way
With our lanterns on …”
Isn’t it amazing what we can achieve when we band together. We might think our light is small but it can make a huge difference.
My sister is one of many travelling this path. And though it’s her journey she knows I’m there for her. What I’d really love, aside from her healing, is to take her on a different journey, camping at Mungo National Park, which I know is on the top of her wish list. My brave sis is a reminder to me of the strength we all have within. Living each day, with grace, faith and courage.
Wherever you are in the world and whatever battle you might be facing, know that you’re more resilient than you think.
All of us are more than the darkness. Life might not always be easy but, when we shine our own light from within, miracles can happen.
In love and light
“Every morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most”. Buddha
For more information on this important cause you can visit the Leukaemia Foundation