A Light on the Subject

Having the correct tool for any job is a great help toward successfully completing it. I’m definitely a tool person; I have a large collection of implements that I have accumulated over the years. Some of my most important ones are kept in plain sight right on my kitchen counter. Most of these are assembled in several open containers where I can reach them easily when I need them.

However, if you were to ask me what I consider one of my most valuable kitchen tools, I would say, “My flashlight.” Does that sound odd? Perhaps it is, yet when I need to locate an item on my shelves or even more importantly in my overcrowded refrigerator, the small bright penlight flashlight I keep on my kitchen counter is exactly what I need.

I don’t remember when I acquired the penlight. I believe it was a gift, and I bless the giver every time I use it. It saves me a lot of time looking for items by helping me check the backs of the open shelves I use as my pantry in our efficient but small apartment. It saves me even more precious time otherwise spent removing items from the ‘fridge in search of what may be on another shelf or in another part of it.

My refrigerator tends to get crowded with useful leftovers, important condiments, and things I make ahead to provide for quick, easy meals. Then too it holds various things to drink, like iced tea, a staple for Stephen, and carrot juice, one of mine. As well it holds the ingredients for the foods I make from scratch: cartons of chicken and beef broths together with alternatives to dairy milk…the list goes on.

As well there are other uses for my penlight elsewhere in the apartment. If I drop something tiny in the bedroom it is much easier to locate it with the use of a penlight. The focused beam sweeps over the floor and helps me to locate that dropped earring back or small ring or earring without getting down on my hands and knees. I didn’t always know this, and I don’t remember when I figured it out, yet I am delighted that I do now. As I get older I appreciate discovering ways to make life easier and more comfortable.

Shedding light on anything increases its visibility. This can be metaphorical or actual. When I shine the light of my understanding on a situation I can see more clearly how to deal with it. Information is a form of light as is good advice. The more we can see, the better we can judge what we need to say or do.

There is an amusing teaching tale that goes like this: A man came across another man searching the ground. “What are you looking for?” he asked. “My ruby ring,” replied the searcher. The second man joined him in his search. Finally he said, “Where did you lose it?” “Over on second street.” “Then why look here on third street?” “Oh, the light’s better here,” came the reply. To me the point of this story is that effective searching requires light.

Door of Mystery

Door Into Mystery

Photo and Text by Tasha Halpert

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