1856599Hello everyone! This week was an enlightening week.  I learned a wonderful lesson this week of the truest meaning of friendship.  “People come in and out of your life when they are supposed to”  It is one of my deepest profound lessons.  I am so thankful for my wonderful family and friends.
Some of them I have known for years, some of them only weeks.  Friendships can be formed in a heartbeat.  We get to meet new friends everyday, you never know when they will come into your lives.  But if they are true friends, they will light a candle for you on the dark days, and they will light up your heart on the good days. It is why I wrote about them.  I’d like to share a chapter from my book with you. A short chapter, but one that I find sustains me more than anything. Friends, they are the greatest of walking sticks and keep you walking with strength on your path.  Such a gift.

Chapter 13

        Incandescent Strength

The candle was burning on the table, as if it had a purpose and a life all it’s own.  A  beautiful candle that smelled like fresh air and its aroma was how love would feel if you could smell it. It was a candle that sat with confidence on my table.  Colors of blue, subtle yet it had a sense of brilliant hues. Ordained with a sense meaning for me.  I don’t find comfort in many things these days, but I happened to find a warm friend in it’s flame.  A silly thought maybe,  I really don’t know.  I am comforted by it’s dancing light on the days when I can’t find a safe place to land..on the days nothing makes sense.

A wonderful therapist whom I sought out when my life became too slippery asked me to do three things. My task at hand for the last two months was to find a candle, buy a  book on the “monster”, and find a place to read and reflect. One, two, three strikes..you are out!..unable to accomplish such simple tasks. It was all too close to the pain. I tried hard everyday to do what was asked of me.  I went to stores that were full of candles..so many to choose from.  But buying one to represent his presence in my home, my heart? It seemed so simple, but  no no no, too scary and was pressing the balloon way too hard. Strike one.

A place to grieve.  My home was beautiful to me. Lovely shades of warm color and beautiful large windows that created such warm sun drenched afternoons. I felt warm and comfortable in every room, but I could not find a place safe enough to be reflective and provoke thoughts on his death.  It too seemed so simple, but no no no …too scary and pressing the balloon way too hard.  Strike two.

A book of grief to read.  I was given all kinds of books on love and loss and finding your way back, stacks of them. The pages filled with metaphors, cliches,  sadness, spiritual journeys and scripture. My mind did not let me read them yet, the mote around the castle was full of sharks.  Reading a well written book about the monster would bring it all too close to the surface.  You think I could have just picked one out of the pile, Perhaps I could write my own book?    But no no no.  Too scary and pressing the balloon way too hard.  Strike three.  Damn..

So what does happen when balloon gets pressed too hard?  It bursts and everything inside the balloon escapes.  Pure escapism. We all need to escape sometimes and perhaps the pain and fear that lives in the proverbial balloon just wants to escape. I eventually realized that my tasks at hand were designed not to burst the balloon, but to  let the air out slowly.

And then one day a friend gifted me a candle.  A beautiful candle with beautiful brilliant hues of blue. It was a lovely gesture from an amazing friend but she was unaware of the profound meaning it had for me.  It was a simple act of thanks for a recent evening together. The candle was a gesture of kindness and friendship that she left on my doorstep while I was away, and it moved mountains for me..

I now have my candle..it burns for me everyday and keeps my monsters at bay. Such a simple wonderful gift and gesture of friendship and I knew it was the one. It lights the tar mack when I am searching for my safe place to land..It whispers important thoughts to me if I listen closely enough.  And most importantly, it effortlessly without fanfare has  let the air out of the balloon slowly and safely, just enough for me to trust it.

So God and his divine shovel made sure this landed in my lap. It must have been important.  Everything that is scooped up in that divine shovel is significant.  The candle is a constant reminder of my friend,  all my friends and people in my life..who will pull me up and keep the candles lit and never let me strike out..

Candlelight ….. A profound blessing.

Catherine Capra-Leaf – author of “Profound Blessings”