WHEREIN I WENT TO LIGHT THE NIGHT AND DISCOVERED I HAD NO MATCHES, AND SO INSTEAD I RETOLD A STORY USING BORROWED FLAMES
A child happened upon four candles, barely alight.
He asked the candles why they did not burn bright.
I am Peace,
said the weakest of the flames.
No one can ever keep me lit. Even now, I shall die out again.
The second one whispered,
I am Faith. And I am disposable. There is no reason for me to keep burning.
And just like that, a light breeze extinguished Faith’s flame
And I am Love
added a sorrowful candle number three
I am taken for granted and discarded, even by those closest to one another. I have no more strength for burning.
The heartbroken child began to cry…but over the sound of his weeping he heard
Don’t be afraid, for my name is Hope, and I am alive. Keep me burning and my flame can be used to ignite Peace, and Faith, and Love.
With shining eyes, the child took the candle of Hope and lit the other three.
— Author Unknown; Retold from my childhood
I was thinking tonight of how this has grown from a single mind’s spark, to the initial flame sent outward with an all-inclusive invitation to join that flame with our own and with others.
I was thinking about how that took all four candles, but that really, it only had to start with the one.