Tuesday, December 18, 2018
When I was growing up we lived in a very old house. It had this rickety stairway that led downstairs from the bedrooms. It had a bannister but it was shaky. Every time you walked on the stairs you felt like they were going to fall down but carpenters and other builders said that the stairs were meant to be free swinging.
They said that they were actually very sturdy and that each stair supported the other not unlike a rope bridge over a canyon that just had ropes and boards. They said it really was very safe but it would be shaky.
That’s what they said anyway but I remember having to go down that stairway, especially at night when we had to go downstairs to the bathroom, because the stairway was dark. We had a nightlight upstairs and a small one at the bottom but there wasn’t any way to light the stairway.
When I was very young I remember several times going down that stairway very slowly at night when I was really frightened but making it all the way down and all the way back up. On the way back up I ran up to the brighter light upstairs. It was always a relief to get there.
One day something happened that was really marvelous. I remember it so well. As I was about to step on the stairs there was a little light there. I didn’t know where it came from but I looked down and there was a light slightly above the stairs just floating there.
I walked towards it and it seemed kind of friendly, thats the only way I can describe it. So I started walking down the stairs and wonder of wonders, the light kept moving before me and lighting up the stairway. That happened all the way down to the bottom of the stairs.
When I came back to the staircase I didn’t know whether the light would be there for me but just as I was reaching my foot towards the first stair, there it was and from that day forward going up and down the stairs at night that light was there.
Everyone in my family saw it too. My sister saw it, my mom saw it and my dad saw it when they went down and back up the stairs.
My little sister always called it Genie because it was like a magical genie to her. Soon we all called it that.
All throughout my childhood from that point on Genie was there. I remember once my dad said, “We all love Genie but maybe we ought to rebuild the stairway …,” and that’s as far as he got. All the rest of us said, “No, no, Genie might go away!”
So to this day, even though I’m now all grown up and not as frightened as I used to be as a child and am getting on in years, I still live in that house.
My sister got married and moved away and my folks passed on years ago but when I got married we raised our children in this house. The children got to know Genie on the stairway at night. Its been a magical place that way and we all feel that Genie loves us and we love Genie too.
There’s something special that I’ve learned from Genie and thats that it’s possible to do small things that are really needed and just be yourself when you’re doing them. In this way you can give of yourself while still being who you are.
I’ve tried to live my life that way doing small things for others as well as doing larger things when needed and to be gracious in giving and receiving.
May you all have a most pleasant holiday season.