When I was younger, one of my favorite activities was catching lightning bugs. No matter how hot and no matter how late, my brother and I would always catch them in a jar and keep them in our bedrooms as our ‘night light’ until morning. Hoping and praying that the lightning bug would make it to through the light, it never did.
Fast forward twenty years and I can’t help but enjoy watching the night sky light up by these flickering childhood memories. Are they the prettiest pets, no. Are they the most reliable, no. Yet, they always bring joy and a smile when their spark, their light.
Their light shines until someone (innocently guilty) captures them, quickly extinguishing the little light they have.
As educators you hold light within, a spark deep inside, that brings joy and smiles to many. Like lightning bugs, that light goes through seasons, at times brighter than others. Yet, it is always there. That light is there to make a colleague smile behind tired eyes. It’s there to light a path on a lost child’s journey. It’s there to flicker joy in a classful of students who feel captured by textbooks and state exams.
You have a unique flicker in your eyes, in your smile, in your heart that is only yours. While some days may be brighter than others, I pray that you never lose that flicker. It can be hard. You want to be that ‘night light’, but it is also important to spread your wings and fly. Fly beside those that make you shine brighter; never flying close to those that fly you into darkness.
Like everything else in life, you have a choice to get wrapped up, captured, in the darkness. Avoid the jar of fate. Shine in your own way; no one says you need to conform to the norm. You only have so long to shine.