Monday, November 16, 2015

Are You Lighting Your Candles?

Image by Eli Duke

Brendan Francis correctly said, "No yesterdays are ever wasted for those who give themselves to today." The truth of that sentiment is beautifully explained in a recent novel.

In Ann Tyler's book Back When We Were Grownups, 53-year-old Rebecca is speaking to her grandchildren: "When I was a little girl..., my Aunt Ida gave me this beautiful, tall white candle with a kind of frill of white lace running up it in a spiral. I thought it was the most elegant thing I'd ever seen in my life. I saved it in my bureau drawer for some momentous event, although I can't imagine now what that would have been. I mean, I was only eight years old. Not a whole lot of momentous events happen when you're eight. And Aunt Ida would ask me, now and then, 'Have you ever burned that candle?'

"I'd say, 'No, not yet. I'm saving it,' I'd say.

"Then one day, oh, maybe three or four years later, I came across it in my drawer. It had turned all yellow and warped; it was practically a C shape, and the lace was coming off in crumbles. I'd never seen it burning, and now I never would. So ever since that time, I light my candles any chance I get. I light them by the dozens, all over every room, at every party from September through May. Multitudes of candles."

I got an email from a reader named Jennie. She pointed me to that passage and added that she had a similar experience with a gift candle she saved until it melted in the drawer. "I learned my lesson," Jennie said, "and have been lighting my candles, literally and figuratively, ever since!"

Are you lighting your candles? Are you enjoying each day to the fullest? Actually enjoying them? Or will you put off living for some future date? "One today is worth two tomorrows," noted Benjamin Franklin. I'll bet he knew the value of lighting candles -- and living fully -- before it's too late.

I've decided to light my candles TODAY. I've decided to find reasons to enjoy each day as if today were all I had. And if those "candles" burn all the way down, that is okay. For I will have replaced them with lifelong memories, which I somehow know, will be a good trade.

-- Steve Goodier

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1 comment:

Nature's Trail said...

In India, we have the festival of lights. We light candles symbolizing from darkness to light, the victory of good over evil.