Lupus Alae

Spiritflights, fledgling and ancient


A tribute to the candle-bearers

There is not enough darkness in all the world to put out the light of even one small candle. ~Robert Alden

That quote is one of my favorites, and it's been on my mind a lot today. There are these extraordinary people in this world who seem to be driven to hold candles out to light the way for others, even on the darkest nights. These are the people determined to make a difference, to matter, to do something in their lifetime that will leave the world better for their footprints having marked it.

They are hailed and hated, praised and pitied for their very natures, for wanting to hold candles in the darkness that seems to press in around us so heavily at times. I believe the people who try to snuff out those candles with spiteful words and hateful deeds as cold as a brisk winter wind, do so out of fear. Fear of change, fear of having to look at their own personal darkness, illuminated by the gentle flames around them. And envy...I think people get mean when they envy the courage of these solid candle-bearers.

What people seldom see is that sometimes, though they would never do it differently, and though the flame itself stays bright and true, the hands of the candle-bearers shake with cold and doubt. The winter wind howls incessantly, swirling all around them like spectral hands swiping at their light, sometimes chilling them to the heart/bone.

Yet these amazing people press onward, sharing their hearts, time, thoughts with others, lighting paths that once seemed nonexistent in the depths of night.

I don't know that I'm really supposed to be a candle-bearer. I'm not a great front man (woman) for a cause, though I am passionate about many. But I know I have a purpose in this world, and I think I may be getting closer to what it is.

What, then, could I possibly bring to the world if lighting it up isn't my gift?

Maybe...maybe I can bring the candle-bearers coats. Encouragement and love to shore them up and keep them warm, a bit of protection against the bitter chill of hatred and doubt that tries hard to envelop and stamp out all of this world's greatest lights, just as it always has tried (and generally ultimately failed!) to do.

I don't know that I have the personality to carry off sweeping changes for the better in this world. But I have an unyielding faith that people can and do accomplish that, and I gladly pledge one huge heart and a ready, steady, kind hand on the shoulder of those whose gifts lead them down that road.

To the candle-bearers out there...what you do for so many others...keep on keepin' on. And if the wind gets too cold, I'd be happy to bring you a coat. In honor of all of you:

"Don't give up
It's just the weight of the world
When your heart's heavy
I, I will lift it for you

Don't give up
Because you want to be heard
If silence keeps you
I, I will break it for you

Everybody wants to be understood
Well, I can hear you
Everybody wants to be loved
Don't give up
Because you are loved

Don't give up
It's just the hurt that you hide
When you're lost inside
I, I'll be there to find you

Don't give up
Because you want to burn bright
If darkness blinds you
I will shine to guide you..."
(Josh Groban)


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