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TO ENTRUST A CHILD WITH FIRE

Sharing Stories

Joan (7), lighting the menorah

To entrust a child with a match, with lighting fire, is no small thing. Her sense of her own power increases with every candle lit, until she believes she can create light. Creating light is the basis for creation, for a creative life, for love, for children.

Among some of my old art books, I found a folded length of gold foil paper. In my childhood such paper was used for making the flames above the paper Hanukkah menorah scotch taped to the dining room mirror.

As an adult, far from home, from parents, from firstborn child, I was still saving gold paper to make flames, to make light, in my new home and for my second child (son). Some years later, I was hospitalized with a broken hip over the start of Hanukkah, during his senior year of high school, and he brought paper flames to me, scotch taped to an actual silver-plated menorah with short pretend paper candles. I cried over the sweetness of this gesture: to kindle flames, to keep the fire, even in the darkest night of pain. [Excerpt from Joan’s upcoming book.]

Joan Rudd transplanted herself to the Pacific NW from New York to go to college some fifty years ago. She is a visual artist and a first generation American who started writing up her stories in 2003, and continues with the support of the group at the Greenwood Senior Center.

SHARING STORIES is a weekly column for and about the 50 plus crowd living in the Puget Sound region. Send your stories and photos to ariele@comcast.net. Tell local or personal stories; discuss concerns around aging and other issues; share solutions, good luck, and reasons to celebrate; poems are fine too. Pieces may be edited or excerpted. We reserve the right to select among pieces. Photos are always a plus and a one-sentence bio is requested (where you live, maybe age or career, retired status, etc.).

SHARING STORIES is featured on www.northwestprimetime.com, the website for Northwest Prime Time, a monthly publication for baby boomers, seniors, retirees, and those contemplating retirement. The newspaper can be found in the greater Seattle area and other Puget Sound locations. For more information, call 206-824-8600 or visit www.northwestprimetime.com. To find other SHARING STORIES articles on this website type "sharing stories" in the search function above.

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