Regarding the Feast of Saint Lucia

We named our second daughter Lucia, (Loo-see-ah) meaning light.   We mostly call her Lucy, Lulu, or Lu-lee, or Lula belle.  (You can see how all great names fall apart completely in our family.  Another example of this is our dog Ruby, who is called Roo Roo, and occasionally called Poo Poo.   We can ruin any great name.  I digress.)

I love the name Lucia because light has been a significant idea in my life.  Photography is, in the original Greek,  “photo” [light] + “graphy” [writing].  To write with light.  The concept is beautiful even without images.

And in a world so broken and hurting, I most especially love the idea of light overcoming darkness.  Christmas embodies this very thought, “for into the darkness there has come a great light…”

One of my oldest daughter’s dearest friends is also a Lucia.  I was inspired to photograph my two favorite Lucia’s together, in the snow, close to the feast of St. Lucia – which is today, December 13th.   (The weather certainly co-operated with the snow!)  We clipped some rosemary from my big pots in the studio barn (it smelled heavenly!), and added traditional brass candle clips with candles, wrapped the girls in wraps and blankets, and then managed to stay out a few minutes, as we were freezing and my camera was getting soaked.

The feast of St. Lucia is celebrated in a grander fashion in Scandinavia, where they understand that one must have candles, singing, family, hearth, and some perfect baked goods to survive the darkest days of the year.  The feast is in remembrance St. Lucia who, tradition tells us, wore her candles on her head so that she would have both hands free to serve the poor.  An inspiring thought indeed.

  May your holiday, however you celebrate, bring light into someone’s darkness.


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