Perhaps this was a day when all your candles blew out. You lit them and they filled your house with a lovely glow. You remained amazed at how every candlewick seemed to burn brand-new, each little flame exactly as enthusiastic as its brother. Light is such a perfect gift to offer a friend or stranger. No matter how bright or dim, it belongs to anyone who beholds it or gains to see by it. Nothing can be lost in offering a light. Yet here you are, alone in your house, surrounded by these candles, and though you know they light your windows, and you know the glow is warm against the night, no one comes to knock on your door. Perhaps there are parlors better lit than yours. Perhaps your windows do not glow as brightly as you imagine they do.
What is the harm in opening the door and peering out? It is just a wall of night at first, but soon you see them, the other windows, yellow squares of flame, and it is easy to imagine the parties dancing behind them. You must know, you must know how yours compare. You throw open your door to step outside and have a proper look, and in an instant the wind of night rushes in and all is blackness again.
Back in you go. It is tempting to leave it dark. Repetition sometimes reeks of futility. But you light one flame, and there it is, as happy and loyal and content as ever before. It seems idiotic in its way, this thoughtless light, flickering with no concern for the million other lights burning all around the globe, but it cannot be convinced of its worthlessness. It is enough that it is lit, and you can see the other candles in its glow, waiting patiently for your attention.
Write Within Yourself: An Author's Companion. "A book to keep nearby whenever your writer's spirit needs feeding." Deb Caletti.