COLUMN: There is something about a flame

There is something about a burning ember surrounded by dancing flame that soothes me.

By Dawn Humphreys

There is something about a flame. I look at my candle and watch the flame dance.

Thoughts whirl in my head, from the biblical “lamp unto my path” – to Elton’s “Candle in the Wind.”

There is something about a burning ember surrounded by dancing flame that soothes me.

I am unsure why I am so soothed. Having been an avid hiker, I know that those lost in the woods should immediately build a fire – not only to be located but to have a source of warmth, and further, a companion. Something animated that keeps you warm and un-alone.

Perhaps, that is what it is that affects me the most – with the flame of a candle I become un-alone. A companion with energy and life of a sort is with me. My current candle flame dances and waves to and fro.

A friend once told me the flame would stay still if I blew the candle out and trimmed the wick, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I wanted to allow it to dance just as my little flame does now.

There have been times in my life when the flame, the fire in me was blown out, my wick trimmed. I was left with feeling that I was now something less, left with sadness, feeling that my burning brightly had bothered another. I know jealousy, and envy, and greed can do the same thing; snuffing out the flame of another.

The allowance to be, seemingly stolen; taken from you so that you, in the moment, can’t be that bright being of light and lightness of being: that twinkling, shining fire of encouragement to others, to shine.

As I look at my little candle I think of the many candlelit dinners enjoyed. Candlelight adding to the elegance of a special family occasion that just might have all started out by candlelight adding romance to the setting first (wink wink).

I think about the Olympic torch that made its way through my city a few years ago. The crowd cheered and you could feel the pride in the air while cheering on a local runner as they passed the torch.

Then again … wow, the Olympic flame, as it burned for 14 days as a symbol that the world’s best had gathered to compete, represent their country, and to make proud those who throughout the years had supported, encouraged and believed in them reach their goals and dreams.

I watched with pride as that torch was lit, knowing that for the days that followed it was the fire in the hearts of the athletes that would mesmerize me as they flew, raced, graced, and sped.

I think about the coaching I do for others and often feel I carry a torch for them, lighting their way through their own maze with a twinkle in my eye and a fire in my heart, for their healing, that burns as bright as any torch. And then comes the day when I hand that torch back to them knowing they have found their path.

I think of times as a teenager; sneaking downstairs and getting a candle and matches, tippy toeing around the house just so I could enjoy reading by candlelight on a sleepless night.

So on one of those sleepless nights (or a Sooke power outage) now, I am un-alone because I enjoy the company of a bright twinkling flame that reminds me to never let my fire go out.

There is something about a flame, so I look at my candle and watch the flame dance … in delight. Candlelight. Candlelight.

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Dawn Humphreys is an East Sooke resident.