Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Candle, Candle, Burning Bright

How far that little candle throws his beams!
So shines a good deed in a weary world.
~William Shakespeare
Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. ~Buddha

My daughter-in-law had a candle party last night. She asked each of us what we liked about candles. "How they smell" and "they are pretty" were popular answers. Mine? "I like the flame." As much as we've learned we must watch candles closely while burning them, I am still fascinated.

No, I am not a firebug but there is something about candle flames that have always fascinated me. In their miniature essence, I can see a full fire burning in the fireplace, crackling at a campsite, even in a tiki torch lighting a path. Candles can light a dark room as well as a chandelier of 60 watt bulbs. Candles can make a table romantic, give a focus for meditation, signify God Almighty's presence, or help celebrate a birthday. Thinking about it, candles are pretty powerful things.

Shakespeare and Buddha both recognized the power of candles and how readily they symbolize the light that we bring to others when we volunteer, share a good word, or simply feel grateful for each new day.

As we move to shorter days and longer nights, in this season of thanksgiving, I am going to try to be a candle burning bright. On the days when it seems the smallest of things doesn't make enough of a difference, I am going to think of that flame. When I see others burning bright, I will rejoice in the light they give off and bask in it myself.

After all, there is another quote, "how do I make myself look prettier? I always dine in candlelight." (unknown) It works from the inside out as well. When our souls are shining from doing and recognizing the good, how can we help but reflect the glow?