Lighting the Green with Spirit

Small white paper bags glowing with candlelight line the paths, each with a name hand-written in bold marker across the front. Slowly, solemnly, clearly, those names are read out and echo across the night air, rising above the background noise of shoppers and traffic in the town. People pause, listening for a name they know, or wander, reading the names of cancer victims and survivors. Many are from this small community, but some are from far corners of the planet. Respect and love is heavy in the air and the murmur of soft conversations, children playing and a dog bark or whine adds to the sense of connection we all seem to share.

The reading of names alternates with a steel band playing in the gazebo, and a group of young girls hula hoop in one corner. “Carol would have loved that” someone says. Carol Dyer was the children’s librarian at the Jesup Memorial Library in a neighboring town. When she died after battling a brain tumor, a group of women started the annual Carol Dyer Illuminaria. For a donation, the name of a cancer survivor or victim will be written on a white bag, then placed along the many paths that intersect the towns’s Village Green, with a handful of sand and a tea candle. That simple. That powerful.

Benefits American Cancer Society


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