A Candle in the Dark

photo by Cherry Coley

Have you ever had to ride out a storm, you know the real one’s?  Have you ever found yourself huddled down and somewhat fearful in the wake of an impending hurricane, flood or tornado?  I have ridden out several Texas twisters and even had them touch down just a block or so from where we were twice.  It can be a nerve wrecking experience, very frightening at times since we really don’t know what will happen next, but hope that we are safe where we are. 

Life has many storms that we must pass through, some are physical storms while others are emotional earthquakes and hurricanes designed to bring even the strongest person to their knees.  Yet just like the physical storms that rock our world in any number of ways, there are also silent one’s.  What about the silent snow storm that comes in the night and dumps an enormous amount of snow?  You might not hear it, but you can still feel the approach.  If you don’t take some precautions then you could be caught unprepared and in some cases the cost could be a terrible thing.

I remember so many times the lightning and thunder storms outside.  Thunder so loud it vibrated the walls and windows, and rain so hard you wondered if the roof would hold up to it all.  Invariably the lights would go out and then the storm its self becomes the sole focus.  My parents always kept hurricane candles ready for those storms.  We were never completely in the dark, because when we knew it was coming, out would come the flashlights and candles ready should we need them.  It’s a practice I still follow.  I love fragrant smells and even have some of the appliances that heat scented wax, but I really have a great love for candles, not just for the scent, but the light and warmth they offer as well.  I remember being scared, huddled in the dark with the storm raging outside, but the simple act of turning on the light made a huge difference. 

It doesn’t really matter how dark it is, or how much the storm howls, the act of lighting that candle made it all seem better.  Why?  Because suddenly the storm wasn’t the sole focus anymore, now we could focus on the light, watch the candles, be entertained by the flickering flame and the shadows cast on the wall.  Suddenly the darkness was broken and we could see again.

I can’t think of a better symbol of hope than a candle, darkness cannot stand against even the smallest flame.   It’s a simple reminder that even the smallest light makes a difference. 

There are many storms on the journey that is this life and no one really wants to go through a storm alone.  Remember that though we cannot always see and feel the storms around us, everyone is going through something and what may seem like a small or insignificant act of kindness that you didn’t think twice about doing, may be just the “candle” that the other person needs to ride out the storm.

 Cherry Keal (c)

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