This week I burned down a pumpkin spice candle. The date on the bottom said 2006. I don’t think I’m the only one who’s kept a decorative candle for years. It’s moved with me to several homes, but this year

I burned it all the way down.

This is the year I’ve learned to appreciate candles. I’ve burned down quite a few during the quarantine. I had forgotten about the little orange pumpkin candle, but after the other scented candle ran out, I found it and set it next to me on the desk.

It’s a friendly thing.

Lighting a single candle

My daughter has gotten in on it. The supermarket had some big fall candles and I brought a few home. I’d say the scent could be dialed back 2 or 3 notches, but Veronica loves it and lights it while she is doing her schoolwork.

I saw the candle growing smaller in its glass jar.

She asked “Where does it go?”

“It burns away. You can’t really see it, but it becomes smoke and floats away on the air.”

We stared at the flickering flame together. It was a quiet feeling.

Candles have been companions to worried people for a long time. They doesn’t ask for much. They put out light



maybe Hope

That little flicker is known all over the world as a prayer without words

When the hope is too fragile sometimes words are too heavy.


When the imagination is too rusty and life is too rigid to conceive of another way, words don’t work.

I can light a single candle. I don’t even have to know why.

It helps. And I am grateful.