Brighten the Corner

By Ritchie Hale 2010
from my camper window – a monthly column of Willison Crossings RV Resort Park

     The other night we had guests stay over at our camper.  Just as they were about to go to bed, we lost electrical power and were plunged into instant darkness.  Feeling my way around in the dark, I located the flashlight and with a joke told my guest to “Go, brighten the corner where you are.”  Later as I lay in my snug and warm bed, I reflected over those simple words.  My memory danced backward in time to a childhood song, “brighten the corner where you are, brighten the corner where you are.  Someone far from harbor you may guide across the bar, brighten the corner where you are.”

     When my son was sailing along the Miami shoreline, lights across the harbor were his friend lest he get caught on sand bars, or coral reefs.  When my nephew had cancer and he was fighting for his life, the slogan, “better to light a candle than to curse the darkness”, became a new truth for us to depend upon.

     Today the song of my memory from the lips of my mother more than 40 years ago seems applicable as we enter yet another new year.  “Brighten the corner, where you are.”

     St Francis of Assisi in the 12th Century said it like this:

 “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;  it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.


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