Welcome to Wiser Now’s weekly email blast which reflects my eclectic interests and, I hope, yours. This week, my focus is on light. We have just passed the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere, marking the return to longer hours of daylight, and for those who appreciate moonlight, we’re just a few nights past its fullest December appearance. If you live in a cold climate, starlight is clearer in December, and it can also be a chance to see the Northern Lights. It’s a time of year marked by candlelight, firelight, colored lights on trees, luminaries, and more. In short, it’s a perfect time to reflect on light. Pun intended.

I hope you find these offerings fun, and perhaps even useful, and welcome your feedback. ( And if you haven’t yet pressed the subscribe button so this newsletter doesn’t go to spam, please do so now.

The Quirky Quote
Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.
~ G.K. Chesterton (good advice)

The Questions
Taking a cue from the quote:
  • What is the highlight of December for you?
  • Who has helped lighten a burden for you this year, or who can reliably lighten your mood?
  • Who is the light of your life?
  • Who is a person whose lightheartedness you admire?
  • Who do you know who despite handicaps or hardships is lit from within?
  • What have you learned this year that has enlightened your understanding of X, Y, or Z?
The Quirky Facts
Light is an English word with many meanings related to what we see with our eyes and what we feel in our hearts. Virtually all of December’s celebrations have rituals related to candles, and twinkling electric lights are also found in abundance. But many of the feelings we have related to the season, as you can see from the questions above, are about being uplifted by light.

Light has two opposites – heavy and dark. Dark means in part “to obscure,” but too-bright-light in the form of glare can also obscure. Heavy usually refers to weight, but it is also about perception. Lighthearted and heavy-hearted are opposites. In short, light has fascinating properties and many meanings.

The Quirky Observations
I love light. I am delighted by all the words that create lovely images in my mind: brilliant, dazzle, gleam, glow, glitter, luminescent, lustrous, scintillate, shine, shimmer, sparkle, twinkle . . .

I love all the words that connect light to uplifting elements as illustrated by the questions above, and I love how many kinds of light there are: porchlights and torchlights, traffic lights, headlights and brake lights, flashlights, floodlights, skylights, and streetlights – and that’s just the start.

I love the idioms: light as a feather, getting the green light, being in the limelight, light at the end of the tunnel, moonlighting to earn more money . . .

I love the cleverness of light shows (See Resources) and the clarity of natural light. I love how sunlight warms me and the shadow sculptures created by moonlight intrigue me.

I love songs like “Let the Sunshine In” and quotes like, “A smile is the light in the window of your face that tells people you're at home.” (Author Unknown)

Obviously, I have thought a lot about light, and am currently revising my slide show with trivia quizzes, word games, discussion questions and more. Watch for it soon.

The Featured Charity 
Continuing with our December promotion of good causes: Charity Navigator gives its highest 4-star rating to only one solar charity, Solar Cookers International (although many are currently unrated), and its premise has long intrigued me. (It was founded in 1987.) From its website: “Solar Cookers International improves human and environmental health by supporting the expansion of effective, carbon-free solar cooking in world regions of greatest need.” According to their statistics, nearly 3 billion people worldwide cook over open fires, and the collecting of scarce fuel is left largely to vulnerable women and children. Solar cookers are an ingenious solution to a worldwide environmental and human problem. In this season of lightening burdens, consider donating to this or other charities that promote solar energy. Learn more here.

The Shameless Request
If you enjoy my weekly eblasts, please share them, and if you represent an organization that would like a customized version, send me a note at
The Quiz - Can you match the lightbulb punch line to the question?
When you cross a thought with a lightbulb, you get the bright idea of creating a trivia quiz around “How many X does it take to screw in a lightbulb?” There are at least a hundred variations of this joke, most of which make fun of various professions. I hope you won’t be offended by any I have chosen below which rang amusingly true for me.

1. Do you know how many musicians it takes to change a light bulb? ___
2. How many optimists does it take to screw in a light bulb? ___
3. How many cover blurb writers does it take to screw in a light bulb? ___
4.How many aerospace engineers does it take to change a light bulb? ___

a. A vast and teeming horde stretching from sea to shining sea!
b. No, big daddy, but hum a few bars and I'll fake it.
c. None. It doesn't take a rocket scientist, you know.
d. None, they're convinced that the power will come back on soon.

5. How many drummers does it take to change a light bulb? ___
6. How many mystery writers does it take to screw in a light bulb? ___
7. How many optometrists does it take to screw in a light bulb? ___
8. How many jugglers does it take to change a lightbulb? ___

e. One, but it takes at least three lightbulbs.
f. One. . . Two, and a-one two three four
g. One, or two? One… or two? Two . . . or three?
h. Two, one to screw it almost all the way in and the other to give it a surprising twist at the end.

And as for how many birds it takes? Toucan do it.

The Resources
A few delightful videos: Answers to the Quiz

1.b    2.d    3.a    4.c    5.f    6.h    7.g    8.e

My multiple goals are to amuse and inspire you, to share what I and people whom I admire are doing, to stimulate your curiosity and spur you to action. I hope you enjoyed this offering. You can access previous issues here. We welcome your feedback. (
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Copyright (c) 2021 Kathy Laurenhue | All rights reserved.

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