The Lighting of the Town happened in Friday Harbor this year by stealth. There was no Friday-after-Thanksgiving early evening mass gathering at the foot of Spring Street. (Everyone knows that’s not allowed right now.) No switch was thrown to cheers and applause. Instead it seems like there was just a gradual process of lights coming on.
I wonder if that’s how it happened on the other islands too? I saw that the Lopez ferry landing is festive with lights again, as it is every year. I’m sure lights are up in Eastsound as well.
In Friday Harbor some displays are buzzy multicolored lights, while others are hewing more to simplicity with white or gold strings. But all of them bring cheer. Every shining bulb is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. We are still here. This night is not forever.
It’s a good lesson. Sometimes we just have to believe our way into the impossible. After all, that’s what the incarnation of Jesus was all about. And his resurrection too. Of course, neither of these things came without a wait that seemed interminable. So while we wait, let’s make it brighter. Light a candle or three, string up some lights. Let it be a gift for your own soul, and perhaps for your neighbor’s too.
The Rev. Beth Purdum Eden is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church. She has served in more than 6 parishes in the Western United States for 30 years.