The Glowing Light of Passion

Now that winter is a moment away the days grow darker quickly. Sitting at my bay window after work I see the clear glow from my neighbor’s garage two houses down from me.

The light can be burning well past 11:00 p.m., the time when most older adults are sound asleep. Yet his light is clearly seen and even his bald head as he roams around. There’s barely enough room for their station wagon surrounded by tools, gadgets and equipment whose names I couldn’t remember if he told me.

Is he making drugs to sell as a supplement for his meager pension from forty years of factory work? A terrorist in our quiet Milwaukee neighborhood? I’ve known him since I moved here and he’s passionately working on his passion. It’s all about wood. Shelves. Bird feeders. Crafted wood from family’s requests or a neighbor who is too cheap to buy something at the store. He doesn’t mind because he’s living his passion.

What his wife does during these afternoon and evening hours escapes me but his garage light has my attention every night. He never lost it or if he did lose it he rediscovered it again and maybe even again during his 70 plus years.

Passion. What you love to do and doing what you love. What keeps you awake at night and whose thoughts thread your day. I know that he’s busy on some demanding project that probably has a deadline and will require the enthusiasm, investment and creativity of a working body and mind. I know this because I just saw his bald head so I know he didn’t cut his hand off. He’s passionate. It’s never left him. It may have been reshaped or redirected but the light is still on. What I meant to say is that his light is still on.

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on
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