Continuing my journey over the hill on the Yellow Brick Road, one evening I arrived in the Land of the Blown Out Birthday Candles. I wandered over to one who was only about an inch tall. She looked as if she was in deep thought.
Hey Candle, mind if I ask what you’re thinking about?
CANDLE: I’m trying to figure out my ridiculous life at the moment.
Me too. What’s your issue?
CANDLE: I was at the top of my game. In all my glory. And then, in a split second, I was useless.
Woah, that’s traumatic. What happened?
CANDLE: Well…to make a long story short, I was put on top of an amazing birthday cake. I was surrounded by buttercream, icing, roses, the works. And I was right in the center of the cake! Happy people surrounded me! They were singing! Someone lit my flame, and actually made a wish on me! The peak of my career! My greatest moment!!
CANDLE: And then I was blown out. Kaput. Now no one cares what happens to me. Life can be so puzzling and cruel.
I’m with ya.
CANDLE: So, what are you doing here?
I’m trying to find my spark. You know, the light that inspires me.
CANDLE: Me too! That’s my next move. The weird thing is, even though I’m older and shrinking, my flame is as strong and high as any full blown candle! Here I am with my younger, blue boyfriend. Check us out!
CANDLE: Yeah! I mean, age doesn’t seem to change the intensity of our light.
It’s interesting you should say that, because as I get older, I think the light inside me is weaker. I don’t have the same forceful, inner glow I used to.
CANDLE: Nah. I think we just have to re-channel what’s driving us. I think that’s what changes over time, not the size of our flames.
Yeah but, the process can be tough. I mean, I used to love wearing high heels. I loved buying eccentric shoes. Now high heels really hurt my feet, so I don’t buy them anymore. Stuff like that just feels sad. Like it’s the end of an era.
CANDLE: Yeah. That’s tough for humans. I’m glad I’m a candle.
Consider yourself lucky.
CANDLE: But I have my problems. Like, it’s painful and terrifying to admit, but I’m only about an inch tall so I don’t think I have a lot of time left. I’d like to mean something to someone as long as I can.
Yeah, I get what you’re saying. So, how about if we take a selfie? I stink at taking pictures. But if we take the selfie, every time I look at it I’ll be reminded of the ongoing, strong light in all of us, as long as we’re lucky enough to be here.
CANDLE: I’m in. Take the selfie. I hope I won’t look fat. Anytime you’re ready.
CANDLE: You’re right. You do stink at taking pictures.
But I captured the essence.
Following up: I stayed with the candle until her flame flickered and was no more. But at the moment her flame disappeared, I noticed a graceful stream of smoke escaping from her wick and dispersing in the air. So the candle is still with us. Her flame has just taken a different form in the mysterious universe.