A Light in the Dark

During the first winter of the pandemic, I participated in a Yule gifting activity where individuals sent personally crafted gifts to the name of the person they drew.  I painted this picture of a lone candle burning in the dark for my Yule gift.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am fascinated by fire. There is great wonder in the single flame of a single candle, but the more I have “played” with fire over the years, the more clear it has become to me that the wonder of a single flame of a single candle is deeply enhanced by the darkness around it. 

To me, a flame is always fascinating, intriguing, inviting and beautiful.  (Okay, let’s be responsible here and add–dangerous). Here in the South, it takes a while, a long while after the Summer Solstice to begin noticing that the days are getting shorter and that the dark part of the day is getting longer.  We are there, right now. Not only is the dark part of the day much longer, but even the daylight hours are more likely to be darkened by clouds and inclement weather. Even on a sunny day, right now, the quality of that light is thin and just not as bright.

Light is wonderful to wonder over, isn’t it? But when darkness finally descends on us, envelopes us, and covers the land like a winter blanket–only then does a single flame on a single candle shine like the sun. Just as many plants and trees would not grow in the spring without the necessary months of winter darkness, there’s something about our spiritual awareness, the light that we seek for meaning on our  journeys, that requires the darkness. Life is fragile and short. We arrive at this time of the year likely without some beloveds who were here last year. Their loss cuts deeply into our hearts, and the pain and grief are real. Invite that in to sit next to you at the table, and light a candle with the ones who gather with you. Even in the dark, especially in the dark, a single candle celebrates the joy of today.

~Bob Patrick

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3 Responses to A Light in the Dark

  1. Bill Benshoof says:

    Thank you, Bob!

  2. katrina yurko says:

    This is my first season to read and reply to the Words of Wisdom exchange. I love reading the philosophical perspectives and the fluent prose of our authors. The analogy Bob used in describing the qualities of light and how it parallels and interacts with life and darkness is almost tangible.
    Nice illustration Too !

  3. Lydia M Patrick says:

    I love this painting you did…… it is an extensions of the light you carry within.

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