At the risk of sharing too much, I have a little story to tell.
I am a lighthouse. I was in a relationship many years ago with a man who was wheel chair confined and paralyzed from the sternum down. I’ll call him Stefan. It was a time in my life of great reward, as well as great challenge. During those years, I actually believed that I was put on the planet to be in this relationship. I felt like it was my life’s purpose to share my time on earth with this man. I learned to not take things for granted. I learned to complain less. I learned to be still. I learned so much about handicaps, not just of my loved one’s body, but the obstacles in our hearts and minds that are harder to overcome than the residue of some horrific accident.
We put things on hold while he was getting some of those other handicaps under control and during that time he fell in love with someone else. I was devastated. Yes, my heart was broken, but I was stripped of my life’s purpose! As I was still grieving this loss, a friend and I attended the wedding of Stefan’s younger brother, who is still one of my close friends to this day. At the wedding, I got to see first hand Stefan’s love with his new person. It was beautiful and I couldn’t hold a candle to it.
In the cab ride home, I cried to my friend, actually saying the words, ‘I can’t hold a candle to what they share. ‘ And in one of the most generous statements I have ever been offered, my friend said, “Of course you can't, Lisa. You are a lighthouse. She is a candle. Your light is so big and so bright, it is going to take someone extraordinary to be with you. Perhaps Stefan needs to be with a candle, someone he can protect and take care of. If that is the case, then he has no business with you.” In that instant I was given permission to shine!
I tell you this, not to measure my light against someone else’s, because come on, few things are as lovely as candlelight, right? I tell you this because maybe you never had a broken heart and a sad cab ride and a dear friend to remind you of your life’s purpose. Our purpose is to shine. Sometimes it will be all big and sparkly like fireworks and sometimes it will be a little tea light votive. Light comes in all sources, all vocations, all birth orders. Whether you are a stay at home Mom or the CEO of Google. Whether you are the firstborn son or an adopted daughter, we were all born with light inside of us. Find yours and don’t be stingy with it. Let it glow.
Salads are often overlooked on menus. They are one of my favorite parts of a meal. This is an old standard and a true standout. The baby rainbow carrots and plating make it look fancier than it is. The sweet lemon dressing lets this salad really shine!
Carrot, Feta, and Dill Salad
with Sweet Lemon Dressing
- 3 medium carrots
- 1 small head romaine lettuce
- 3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 cup snipped fresh dill, loosely packed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
Peel carrots, and cut them into 3-inch lengths. Using a vegetable peeler, slice carrots into thin, translucent ribbons.
Break up the lettuce into bite size pieces.
Combine carrot strips, romaine, cheese, dill, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Combine lemon juice, sugar, and olive oil in a small glass jar, shake vigorously to emulsify. Drizzle over the salad, and toss to thoroughly coat everything.
Thank you to Cheryl Stockton of Stockshot Studio for shining her light on my food in these pictures!