We have our annual small town community holiday celebration tomorrow…it is called Starlighting.  Castle Rock has been lighting a big star on top of its namesake for over 70 years.  This is one example of why I love living in a small town.

I have personally attended this celebration (on and off) since 1996 when I first heard of the event.  Every year it fascinates me just how much of our small town population will cram themselves into our downtown area.  Of course, many streets will be closed off to facilitate our ever growing population.  The Fire Station will have its annual chili dinner and many of the local businesses will be busting at the seams with customers (including The Barn).

The main event is the actual lighting of the Star.  What I love most about this tradition is that, right after the Star is lit, thousands of people will sing “Silent Night” together.  There is no other noise…no talking, nothing.  Just singing.  It sends chills…

I used to bring my two small boys to this event.  This year my older Son, Alex, is in college happily doing his ‘college thing’.  My younger Son, Connor, will be working at The Barn.  I may have to drag him out to see the lighting of the star with me…probably my last chance to do this with one of my boys.

Yesterday, Connor was accepted into one of his out-of-state favorites for college.  This kind of seals the deal that he will be leaving and going much further away than his older brother did for college.  I am proud of him, but I am also kind of melancholy.  I know that when I go to Starlighting in the future I will constantly be reminded of the two small children that went with me in the past.  I will look around me when singing “Silent Night” and see their transparent images running around.  Because this is a small town, it is kind of hard to hide from this kind of stuff.  It will always be there…every year.

You might expect me to say that I will feel lonely going to Starlighting without my children.  Nope.

Starlighting is a celebration of Community, of togetherness.  How could I ever feel alone when I live in such a close community?  Of course I am blessed…there is The Barn for me….my community within a community.

I know another reason not to feel alone.  Just like me, I wonder how many people will be looking around for their transparent loved ones as they sing Silent Night tomorrow night. I will be watching and I just know that I will make eye contact with people I know in my community who were raising their families at the same time I was.  They will also be gazing around looking at their transparent loved ones running around.  We will exchange knowing smiles and our hearts will feel a little bit warmer.

The delights of living in a small town.

Happy Starlighting and see you at The Barn!!