Light one candle…or a few.

Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. ~ Chinese Proverb

Yesterday afternoon the skies became almost nighttime black.  A storm was brewing and it looked ominous.  It hit with a fury — blinding rain, tree-bending wind, and angry thunder.  No problem.  We need the rain.  The temperature dropped to a bearable level.  I love a good summer storm.  I watched for a while from the front door, then settled in with a book.  Shortly the lights went out.

Well, I thought, there’s plenty of daylight left.  The power company will have us up and running before dark.  Sure enough, at about 6:15 the lights came on.  I high-fived the air.  As I lowered my hand the lights flickered and disappeared.

“Be prepared.” I told my best boy scout self.  I stashed my tiny travel flashlight in my pocket and put a candle and lighter on the nearest table.  With cell phone in one hand and reader in the other, I was ready to ride it out.

I LOVE modern technology.  I used my phone to go online and report the power outage.  I  read all my pending email.  (Now I need to respond to some of them.)  I played Solitaire and Sudoku on the reader.  I play those mindless games because they free up my brain and allow me to think.  I recognize that thinking sometimes gets me in trouble, but I do a lot of it all the same.

For obvious reasons, I was thinking last night about light, both figurative and literal light.  Literally, as night fell, I chose to add candles to my table in order to increase the light pool and my sense of visual security.  (See photo above.)  Figuratively, I started to wonder about the definition of light as I’ve perceived it most of my life.  I’m still working on the figurative angle, but my long-held perceptions probably come from religious/spiritual influences via my teachers’ and parents’ lessons on morals and values.

To my way of thinking, if I see the light, that’s a good thing.  It means I know which path to take.  I’m aware that I can cast a good or a bad light on any situation/person/group.  Whether I’m writing a post for my blog or figuring out what to say to someone who has stepped on my toes, if I have a little niggle in my gut that makes me wonder whether I’m doing/writing/saying the right thing, my answer is no.  If I don’t want it done to me, I shouldn’t do it to someone else.  I think of that as using my light in a positive way.

(Deep breath.)  I started this blog as a recently divorced and jilted woman.  Did I always practice what I said in the paragraph above?  No, I did not.  My excuse, if I’m allowed one, is that the pain was unbearable.  I wanted them to hurt as much as I did.  I’m healing now and I’m doing better.  At least I think I am.  That doesn’t mean I’ll stop telling the truth as I see it, but I would prefer not to strike out and hurt anyone else.  That’s not who I am.

(Another deep breath.)  A final note about casting a bad light on others.  Recently, my ten-year-old grandson told me, “Some people are prejudiced.”  I agreed.  We discussed it and I could see that he understood the concept. If your humor or entertainment consists of denigrating others, my boy would call that prejudice.  Have a nice day.

Nothing but blue skies do I see…..


15 thoughts on “Light one candle…or a few.

  1. Mmm, I like this post and can recognise your path through blogging and you new wisdom. I started on the same path because the pain was unbearable, and I think I might be getting to the end of that road now. It sounds like you are too, as I sense more serenity in your posts lately.
    Anyway, I loved Deep Fried Balls’ quote about reacting to something: Are you making a choice out of fear and anger or love and compassion? It has been with me all day and echoes through your post.


    • Thanks, E. I can see your pain easing as well. It feels pretty damn good, doesn’t it?
      Thanks for pointing me to Deep Fried Balls’ quote. I looked her up because I really wanted to know how she got that name. I will enjoy reading more of her posts.


  2. Lovely post – and beautiful view. With a view like that, you have to look on the bright side! And it really does sound as if you are getting there, Pat. Great!


  3. I read a book that described “the light” beautifully. I loved it. It’s called God Wears Lipstick, Kabbalah for Women. It describes how all decisions bring us closer to the “light”, to God, or our life’s purpose OR how our decisions lead us away from those things. Very simply written and made so much sense to me.


    • Hi BG. I haven’t heard of the book. Do you have a copy? I would love to read it. This post took on a direction that I never expected. That happens to me often. It’s as if some “divine” something types for me. OK, I know, I’m weird.


  4. I hope your power is on once again–both your electrical power, and your personal power. Sounds like you are making an excellent recovery on both fronts. we here in the Washington DC area are gradually getting back on our feet. My power was out for 60 hours. i thought i would die Sunday night (the 1st of July) from the heat, but suddenly, just as i had said “oh, if only i had a fan!”, the motor of the convector growled to life and was blowing a bit of hot air around–no a/c was working, but all i had asked for was a fan, and I got it. I’m still quite overcome by such an instant response to a wish/prayer, but I think I always felt during this uncomfortable time that I was not alone–that God was protecting us during this very traumatic time. I was so aware of all the families and people who were still without power, whose homes had been destroyed by trees falling on them, and those families and people who never have any a/c at all. And then I thought about our fighting forces in Afghanistan, who live in heat much worse than we were experiencing and have no real a/c to comfort and cool them. I was really not in such a bad situation after all. I’m cleaning out my fridge/freezer and I hope I don’t feel the need to stock up for a long term deprivation of food and water or something equally dreadful. I had gone grocery shopping on Thursday–the day before the storm–and it’s all in the dumpster now. But that was the extent of my loss. We’re very fortunate around here.


    • Hi Jan. It’s good to hear from you. I’ve been hearing about your dreadful storms from a friend in your area. BTW, her name is also Jan. She’s on the Maryland side. My power was off for about 4 hours–nothing like what you’ve had there. My frozen yogurt didn’t even melt–it just softened enough to scoop–and I did. You’re smart to think of our little inconveniences as minor compared to so many others in the world. We really don’t have many legitimate complaints.
      Take care. Thanks for reading. And for your comments.


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