Message In The Lantern Raising the Barr Weekly Memo: Issue 347

My wife and I recently attended the Water Lantern Festival on Cleveland’s Lake Erie coast at Voinovich park. On a beautiful, warm Cleveland evening, I, along with thousands of others, spread our numbers out, milling around and socializing over the lawns and walkways and waited for the sunset to be begin.

Each participant received a bag containing a paper lantern and marker, on which to write our thoughts, hopes and wishes, a wooden base and a battery powered candle. It was an amazing sight watching everyone intently inscribing heartfelt words on their 4-sided lantern papers.

Laurel and I worked alongside the others, amazed at how much thought each person, including us, was putting into their message. At the appointed time, we were invited to proceed to the water’s edge and launch our lanterns down the plastic slides and into the waters. As the skies grew ever darker, the lights grew more vibrant and the waters filled up with light that bobbed up and down with the quiet current.

I caught a glimpse of some messages; pleas for health, strength, family harmony and even a few political barbs. Unspoken words filled the air and water that was electric with people opening their hearts and sending off their messages of hopes and prayers.

We each have a message to share; some by taking action, showing the way and leading by example, while others by written word, video or public speaking. We can change the world in so many ways. What is your message?

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