Tahoe Pine Nuts: The power of the lighted candle | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Pine Nuts: The power of the lighted candle

In came the Pineapple Express, and out went the power. I felt like a refugee in my own home, warming my hands over the slender flame of a lighted candle, as my heart went out to the real refugees.

Will I forget them when the power returns? No, I will not. I will send what funding I can afford to supportive agencies like UNICEF that provide shelter and warmth to those in desperate need.

As darkness closed in, various emotions began to emerge in the light and warmth of that candle, and familiar thoughts of my daily routine began to wane; I could no longer read a book, go for a run, write to a friend, listen to music, or go online.

Yet I was at peace with the light and warmth of that candle. So there I stood, warming my hands, while my thoughts surrendered to feelings.

As my cognitive brain waves drifted away, I felt a strong emotional awareness of a person who, when we were married, provided light and warmth, and suddenly my entire frame, head to foot, filled to overflowing with affection and gratification.

I had to smile; a reality was revealed to me in the light and warmth of that candle. I wanted to call her and tell her about my candlelight epiphany, but the phone was dead, and I knew, were the power to come back on, I would not have the courage, nor the words.

Yet, I can’t help wondering, if one were to voluntarily confine oneself to a dark, cold room for an entire evening, with nothing more than the light and warmth of a candle, might that person’s feelings inevitably be condensed and focused on one person, or perhaps Mother Nature, or perhaps God?

And might not that person become spontaneously suffused with a strong sensation of grateful love?

I suspect a sense of absorbing wonder is what Thoreau felt while living his transcendental life at Walden Pond.

Alternately, don’t we have to wonder what a really busy person, a person about to be sworn into the highest office in the land, might feel if left alone with a candle for an evening?

Perhaps he might see the world differently than from the view afforded by the bright lights of 5th Avenue, but of course the chances of that happening are about as good as finding true love at Rookie’s.

By the way, science is telling us that Walden Pond’s phosphorous problem has her teetering atop an ecological tipping point, and that she might not be available for communing with nature in the years to come.

It might sound preposterous, but along with congressional hearings, I’d like to see our cabinet nominees and supreme court nominees volunteer to take the candlelight test, and then be asked to render an account of their experience, their inspiration, their contentment, or perhaps their altered vision.

We can’t all do Walden Pond, but an evening alone with a lighted candle might be a shortcut to comparable enlightenment.

The power of the lighted candle, in its elegant simplicity, just might ignite our imaginations, our best instincts and our best selves. Stranger things have happened…

Learn more about McAvoy Layne at http://www.ghostoftwain.com.

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