the little lamp
here is a story to tell. It is a story about a little lamp. Long ago, a certain group of people lived. They were tall and elegant and moved like dancers. One of the many tasks they enjoyed was the making of lamps. These lamps were beautifully made, having a curved frame and multi-paned crystal pieces which allowed candle light to glow softly out into the night. The crystal pieces were shaped in a graceful manner, allowing the leading to bend around them in a pleasing way. These lamps were sought after and if you were fortunate enough to find one or, better yet, have one given to you by these lovely people, you thanked your lucky stars.

This is the story about one of these precious lamps. This particular lamp was made with the greatest of delicacy. The frame of this little lamp was finely made. In the corners of the rounded contour, vines wrapped their stems and leaves in tight curves, bending and twisting in a flowing fashion. The smallest of delicate crystals was polished and fitted amongst the lushness of the vines. When a beeswax candle was lit within, the softest light sprang forth, defusing into many pastel colors resulting in a magical and romantic ambiance. When one gazed upon the beauty of this little lamp, a long sigh was heard.

The little lamp was created by a young pair of these people. They were male and female and called themselves “life partners”. The term “marriage” was not used by these people. They bonded for life and even after the death of one, the other did not remarry. While bonded in this life, the commitment continued into eternity.

Together, they created this particular little lamp and were the makers of many other lamps. Each had a special skill and their lamps were known throughout the land.

For many periods of time, the little lamp was treasured and kept within the home of the lamp makers. They loved the way the light from the little lamp projected colors and dancing forms out into the velvet softness of the night. The little lamp was very happy and twinkled just as the stars. For these people were the People of the Stars, and the lamps they made were priceless beyond measure.

But time passed and after many seasons had slowly drifted by, one into the next, a new people arose. They perceived themselves to be great and in many ways, they were. Although not as tall and graceful as the people who lived before, they became very knowledgeable (but not astute). They were doers but not thinkers and they had no use for the beauty in the world around them. Perhaps, only a passing thought was given to the natural world but most of the time they used that world to fill their own ends. The People of the Stars passed on and most of the appreciation of the world around them, passed with them.

In the process of the change, the little lamp was dropped and abandoned into a large pile of leaves under a very large tree. Saddened, the little lamp lay, quiet and dark, wondering what would happen to it.

Early one morning, while out hunting, one of the new people happened upon the little lamp. It so happened that a curved corner of the lamp was visible near a pile of decayed leaves. Curious by the look of the protruding object, the man moved leaves and dirt and lifted the little lamp out of the debris. He turned it one way and then another, eying it with amusement. Thinking that it may be useful, he tucked it under his arm and carried it to his shelter.

For many years, the little lamp lived back in the dusty corner of the man’s shelter. It was very sad because it knew that it had the ability to shine forth with lovely radiance. One day, a woman discovered the little lamp. She cleaned it up the best she could but she was a bit slow in her thinking and could not figure out what the little lamp was. She had not a clue that this special little lamp was a thing of great beauty and was capable of glowing with the light of the stars. These new people were not interested in stars, or anything in the natural world that bespoke of loveliness or beauty. They had it in their minds that they, themselves, produced objects that were attractive to them and it never occurred to them that the simplicity of pure beauty already surrounded them.

In time, this woman decided to place a candle into the little lamp. The little lamp was beside itself with happiness. Finally, it would be able to be itself and do the one thing it was created to do. However, because the woman was a bit short in her mental capacity, she decided that the only way to be able to use the lamp would be to break out some of the carefully carved, crystal panes. The little lamp cringed and became very fearful, as the woman went to work. She crudely smacked out several of the delicately created panes. The little lamp felt sad and hurt. However, when a stubby little candle was placed within its heart, it felt a small sense of peace and comfort. Bravely, the little lamp shined out the light of the candle, doing the very best it could. But the sense of something missing was ever with it. And with the passing of many seasons, the little lamp became convinced that it was only capable of a somewhat crude type of light.

And so the passing of many seasons took their toll and the little lamp almost completely forgot who it really was; a blessing with the glow of starlight and rainbows. However, on occasion there would come a reminder veiled with the opacity of time. Some reminder would drift into its mind just as the mists drifted into the meadows in the evening hour. It would see a flash of light with the soft colors from a prism and it would smile to itself, knowing that something else was “out there”.

One day, the group of shelters that was called “home” to these particular people was raided by another group of the same type of people. For these people were constantly squabbling among themselves and always trying to gain control of others or best them in any way conceivable. The little lamp was thrown out as trash and abandoned. Later, it was picked up by others who, not knowing (or caring) of the treasure they held in their hand, broke out many more of the delicate crystals. Bravely, the little lamp made itself useful, shining with all its strength. Sadness became its shadow.

One dark evening, while the little lamp was sitting in its place on a table, it looked around the room where it was. Woe is me, it thought. Is this all I’m to do with my life? Where once I shined with the colors of the rainbow sparkled with starlight, now there is a light, broken....but bright. With the speed of a shooting star, the little lamp realized with a jolt that this was “it”. Broken....yes. But along with the broken-ness came a clear, bright light that illuminated the world around it. It was a useful light and one that illuminated the lives of those who the little lamp was happy to serve.

And so the little lamp realized a valuable lesson. Even if a person has been crudely broken by the ravages of time and hurtful misuse, the light from their lives can shine ever more brightly, bringing happiness and joy into the lives of others.

As you walk down the path of your life, always let your light shine....brightly
~ Tasarwen (calma i titta)

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