I am standing tall in my place, but I am chilly and dark. I see all those around me hustling about, in their fancy clothing passing by me as if I don’t exist. I wonder about my value, and my worth to them. To myself. I am truly unsure if I matter at all. I stretch myself as tall as I can get my 3 inch wax figure to go.
And then, it all comes to a halt. I hear the mother summoning her young daughters, “it’s time to light.” The pitter patter grows louder as a small group of angelic faces gather around me.
I see them take a little toothpick with a bit of red and strike it on a box, and suddenly there is a small flame at its end. Woah, it is getting close to me now, why are they bringing that blinding light so close to my head?
I am scared by that light, but as it nears me, I am also intrigued by the warmth it seems to be offering. I am not sure what will happen if it touches me, I don’t know if it will hurt, but I am kind of hoping they will touch me with that fire-light. Life has been dull and cold until now. This may be the change I have been looking for?
I don’t have to wait long, as that flame was brought to my head. They lit my little wisp of hair at my top, and for a moment it flared up as a bright flame, but then it settled down to a lazy rocking flame as my head was warmed by this calm and comfortable light.
I hear the mother uttering soft prayers with her girls, after waving her hands softly. It almost seemed as if she was beckoning me to bring that light and warmth that she had just given me, back to her and her family.
I am honored to be part of this sweet ritual that this family is doing, but that light and warmth that I now possess is starting to eat me up. Literally. For the first time in my life, from when I was a baby, in box with so many other candle babies, I clearly matter.
All that time, wondering what I am, who I am, what is my purpose and do I matter or make a difference, has finally come to an end. I clearly do matter, and clearly do make a difference. I am able to warm others as I am warming myself. I can provide light to a dark room, I matter. I am an influencer.
As the house lights start to go out after a watching a festive meal of food and song and prayer. I am frolicking happily, feeling good about my being.
The house around me silences as the household retires to their beds, and couches, reading and sleeping. That nagging feeling I had earlier has returned. I’m disappearing. All this giving has started to diminish me as well. Earlier I was a large candlestick, now I am barely a quarter my size.
Some of my siblings have finished their journey and have started to disappear altogether, ending their life with a small wisp of black smoke, a final cough, as they went to their eternal rest.
Did my sacrifice that gave light and warmth, warrant my eventual demise? Large tears of wax of now flowing freely as my existence starts to fade. Was this my calling in life? To be a “one trick pony.” To have one show, and then have my act retired?
Then from the distance I heard a gentle voice. I heard that woman of the house softly tell her husband, that it was a beautiful Shabbat meal. That everything was perfect, and the light and warmth that me and my siblings provided will be a warm memory that she will cherish forever.
It was then that I realized, that in fulfilling my destiny to light up that home, I didn’t cease to exist, I actually began existing. All my history in a box, and even in a candle holder, were all part of my time as the walking dead. I was present but I didn’t exist.
Tonight, for the first time in my existence, I actually lived. I actually mattered. I actually made a difference.
And in so doing, I didn’t disappear, I actually began. While this particular light I provided may need to be brought in by my siblings next week, my light did not stop existing. The happiness and warmth, the light and love, the inspiration and joy that I brought is beyond time and space. Now that it is in this world. It won’t (can’t) ever leave.
Thank you pretty mother and girls. Thank you for taking me out of my boring box, and making me matter.
Photo Credits thriftyfun.com