illumination

Lighting in basilica_1095

By now you can tell. I love to bend the subject of a photograph in order to explore a theme I’ve been pondering. Today’s theme: illumination.

Lights in the basilica_1094

The unimaginably beautiful lights in the Templo de Sagrat Cor at Tibidabo draw the eye as surely as the art or the architecture.

Lanterns in basilica_1098

Makes me think of the women I’ve looked to for illumination during my years as a mother. One of them, Señora K (not her real name), has been a bright and constant light in my life. We became friends years ago, after my own mother had passed away, and she instantly became a mentor. I still call her a few times a year for advice when I’m really confused about something, and she talks me through it.

Maybe eight months ago, I faced a situation I just couldn’t puzzle out on my own–a challenge involving one of my children’s friends. This was a tough one. A real Stumper. But Señora K did what she always does: repeat what she’s heard me describe, so she’s sure she understands, then dive deep, interpreting the situation from her perspective and offering the kind of sage and highly specific advice you simply cannot put a price on. After our conversation, I knew exactly what I needed to do, and I was able to proceed decisively and with a sense of peace.

There is no substitute anywhere for the quality of light the Señora K’s of the world offer. None at all. So how do you find one? You look around for an Admirable Woman who’s farther along the Path of Motherhood than you are (they’re out there!), and you invite her to lunch at your place. Or you simply call her and say, “Here’s my situation. I’m feeling a little stuck. What do you think? What would you do?”

If your own mother is a Señora K, count yourself blessed.  And hold her close!  Otherwise, keep your eyes and ears open.  Because she’ll show up.  They always show up in our lives, these wise and encouraging Señoras, with exactly the light we need.  I believe this.

And someday, we’ll have the opportunity to give it back–to become a Señora K to someone else who needs a bit of illumination.  That’s how it works:  grab the light that comes your way; be the light when it’s your turn.

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