Friday, December 30, 2011

The Festival of Life

I'm going to preface this post as a unique situation in one person's house, on one specific night, in one specific year. What I feel like sharing is unique to me and by no way shape or form is law or happens every time or something to be held as truth. It was just something that got caught in the crazy train of my thoughts and I wanted to share them.

Tuesday night was the eighth and final night of Hanukkah this year. I did something that I don't I have ever done in my 36 years of Hanukkah. The family got together lit the candles, said the prayers, and said oh so pretty. The kids then opened the little bit of presents that were waiting for them. Since we live in a smallish condo you can see almost anything if you're in the right spot. This comes in handy for the lazy, and the man stuck in his power chair. After the presence I quickly turned back to the candles and started watching. Why I chose to do this this particular night I don't know. It could've been I didn't want to move, I started to realize this is my last Hanukkah, or I could've just been hiding for my mother-in-law.

I said in the preface what I saw this night was unique to this night and does not always happen. I sat there and watched all 18 candles burn from beginning to end and that is how my thinking starts. The shamus candle is the first candle lit as it is the helper candle to light all the other ones. On this night both of these helper candles were the first ones to burnout. As I look back now to the whole thinking are those of us in helping fields the first to go because we're so busy getting our energy to everyone else and forget to save some for ourselves. I just sat there for as long as it took for every last candle to go out. As I watched these candles melting it just made me think about life and death in general. Some of the candles wanted to lean really for to either the left or right side of their whole. Some of the candles wanted to burn very slowly and some were trying to do it as fast as they could. There was this one candle that tried to burn straight down the wick. It melted so close to the middle wax was falling to either side and if I had more wicks I could've created two new candles. Some of the candles dripped a lot of wax all over the place and some did not shed one drop of wax. It was kind of fun to watch it and guess which of the candles would be next. At one point I was sure this candle was going to be the next one gone. This little flame fought and fought not to go out and lasted a lot longer than I thought it could. I don't think I need to go into the explanation of each candle. As I watched these 18 candles burn in the way they did I thought it was very close to that in our society. Some of us get very busy on the left side or the right side of life. Some of us run our lives at a very high pace and some of us slow it way down. Some of us do anything to leave our mark on where we've been and some don't need recognition of where they've been. Some of us are just dealing and shedding life as it comes at us. Then there are those who are fighting just to stay around as long as they can. The sad bottom line of all of this was no matter at what speed they went, what position they got it, or how they melted down all 18 candles went out. That's where we are now. Some are going to take longer than others, some are going to go naturally and some are going to find unique ways to go. Finally some are going to fight harder than others to last. Any way it happens it's sad to think that will happen to all of us someday. Unfortunately mine seems to be sooner than later!

1 comment:

  1. I think perhaps we are both menorah and shamus. And a lowly shamus can light limitless menorahs. We all burn down in the end. But the flame continues on to light all of Creation.