© 2009, Wanda L. Harrell
With a reflective mind frame and feeling every one of my six decades of life, I sat alone in the darkness last night, quietly pondering life: its splendor, its intricacies and brevity of being. After a few moments, I decided to light a small black cherry fragranced candle I had recently purchased. When I touched flame to its core, the candle immediately emitted a soft glow from within the confines of the small crystal container. Over my lifetime, I have set many candles alight, but for reasons unknown, I was captivated with this particular one as I watched the solitary flame dance in wild abandon, seeming to delight and celebrate its purpose for being.
Finally, for an unknown increment of time, I freed my fascination with the candle to focus on my own thoughts and concerns. However, each instance I gazed in the direction of the candle, I noticed how the diminutive flame enticed large hidden shadows to come out to play upon the room’s mundane walls and how the once hardened substance was slowly becoming a burgundy pool, a confined puddle of molten wax, emitting its black cherry fragrance throughout the room.
Eventually, I left my soul searching to go about other things, but allowed the candle to burn. As the evening wore on, I occasionally took note of how the molten pool diminished, little by little, in size. However, as that happened, I realized the flame became more active and virile, more compelling as its demise approached. I found myself wondering if this non-living thing, a small flame could somehow sense its imminent doom, and so gave its every energy to experiencing its brief existence to the fullest and greatest potential, vigorously defying its impending fate.
Feeling compelled to watch as the last bit of wax burned away and the flame disappeared forever, I realized the candle was much like life. When we allow our spirits to seize the moments we have here on earth, to actually burn brightly in society’s darkness, emit our unique essence into the world while enticing bigger-and-better things to happen, we are serving our purpose for living. It is all too quickly, just as the little candle, our flames burn out, never more to blaze again.