My mother used to call me this when I was a little girl, Sweetness and Light. She always told me that one of the most remarkable things about me was my joy and that I shone like sunshine in the darkness. My optimism and my childlike wonder I carried with me into adulthood, and as it turns out, these were the very things my husband told me he was first drawn to when we started dating. Now I have my own Sweetness and Light, and I wonder if I ever brought as much joy to my mother’s heart as they do to mine.
Today is St. Lucia Day, the Swedish festival of sweetness and light, and I can’t help but reflect today on these two words. There’s the literal sweetness of the lussekatter (Lucia buns) and Julpepparkakor (Christmas spice cookies) and the literal light of the candles we ignited in the hour before dawn to share our breakfast by, gathered around the coffee table.
But, it is so much more than that.
In the face of a child, in the liturgical year, in the handing down of traditions from mother to daughter to son, in the quiet before dawn when all is magic, in the awesome love of Christ, there is a sweetness and a light that cannot be put into words…
…and so, like Mary, I will silently treasure all these things to ponder in my heart.