by Amanda Brand
The light of my life resides in the pages of books, the fur of cats and the family and friends that I have.
To be specific, the pages of books are fantastical and full of magical beings. The fur of cats belong to the two cats that I own and cherish; Pebbles and Autumn. Family and friends encompass four people who have always been there for me and continue to be there whenever darkness creeps in and I need an extra push back into the lighted path.
Books are part of the light of my life and I find myself escaping into fantastical worlds to get away from the hardships of life or to simply meet up with new and old characters and see where their story will take me.
Without books, I do not believe that I would be the person I am today.
During middle school, I was ripped away from my friends from elementary school and was left stranded in a new school. Everyone found friends within the first week but I seemed to have missed that deadline.
One day, I wandered into the library and was browsing the shelves and came upon a title that intrigued me: City of Bones. Curiosity took over and I brought it to the counter, checked it out and took it with me, as one would a friend, to lunch.
From that day forward, books have been one of the greatest allies I have.
Books have the ability to shape people and offer a completely new perspective that people might not otherwise have known to need a voice or had a voice to begin with.
My cats provide so much light in my life. I have had Pebbles since she was a few weeks old and I was merely ten years old. We have a bond that I have never seen between a human and a cat before. She feels like my soulmate and we know each other very well. I can tell by looking at her when she isn’t feeling well and she can tell the same for me.
As for Autumn, I have only had her for about 2 years and I still feel a connection with her, but not as deep as with Pebbles. She is more doglike than catlike and adores the outdoors. I leash trained her when she was a young kitten and ever since, she has begged to be let outdoors, regardless of the weather outside.
There could be a foot of snow on the ground or bright rays of warm sunlight, and she would
want to be outside. She forces me outside more which I appreciate and she is always
taking me on new outdoor adventures which is great for clearing the mind and exploring
what the world has to offer.
Family and friends have always been important to me but sometimes they can bring in more darkness than light. However, there must be darkness for there to be light.
My mom, dad, brother and best friend are some of the brightest lights for me.
They are able to vanquish the darkness with a few kind words or filter in more light to allow me to flourish against the dark and face the day with new vigor.
But I’ve had times when the people I used to consider friends brought so much light at first, but that light morphed into something darker and toxic that I quickly fought to get away from, less they extinguish the flickering light of my own happiness.
At those times, I thought that I would never find friends who would bring more light than darkness and not be the fake people I thought to be what friends were. They even made me feel as if it was me that was the bad person and the one who didn’t deserve friends.
But all that changed one magical trip to New York City where at a book convention, I met a girl who shared the same fierce love of books as myself. We went our separate ways after we stood in line for a book signing but a voice in my head kept telling me to not let this girl get away from me. So my mom and I ran through the convention center after her and found her so we could quickly exchange social media usernames.
Ever since, her and I have chatted everyday and have a bond more sister-like than I have ever experienced. And I’m grateful that I listened to that voice. It gave me one of the brightest lights in my life and I would not be the same without her.
Overall, there must be a balance of dark and light. But there are many entities that bring light in and aid in casting out the dark.
For me, those include books, cats, friends and family as they emit light of their own and make me see through the dark and into the beauty of light.