The menorah lights,
too soon burn down to the wicks;
watching in silence.
I gather my prayers and intentions, for a life that will transcend the darkness of the past. Every Chanukah now is bittersweet, as it seems that hope is as fragile as the last moments of the candles flickering flames, before the wicks are extinguished. There is no Chanukah gelt (chocolate coins), nor family or friends while I sit in the evenings meditating on this sacred light; this is exactly how I prefer to spend this time. While my family celebrates together on the East Coast, and my friends attend all of the local Chanukah celebrations, and public displays of the lighting of the menorah.
Yet, I am an introvert; and, because my life had been lived as if I myself was a flickering flame, susceptible to the passing currents of time, I now prefer to remain within my own integrity, reflecting in a meaningful way on past, present, and future. This past Chanukah marks three years since my father passed away, two years of pandemic, and one year from the last time that I met with my entire family at once on Zoom. As fate or divine guidance would have it, I am meant to know my place amongst the silence of the world, where most people would prefer not to be. If it were possible, I would become a Jewish monastic.