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What Is It About The Flame?

mickey shunick candlelight vigil
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Last night many of us gathered together to remember a group of people we didn’t really know. The victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy, their families and their pain had become part of our consciousness. Just like those that were directly affected we looked for comfort, we looked for understanding, we looked for peace in the flicker of a candle flame.When Mickey Shunick went missing earlier this year, by the thousands we gazed into the light of candles and sought the same refuge.

What is it about that single point of light that give us as humans such solace. Think of all the things that we do that involve candles. We blow out candles on a cake to celebrate a birthday. A bride and groom will take  two candles to light one as a symbol of their unity.

Why?

It has got to be more than tradition don’t you think? There must be something primordial about fire and flame that touches a place within us that connects to our very existence on the planet. I know some of the best thoughts that I have ever had have occurred around a campfire. Some of the most delicious and most romantic rendezvous in my life have been brought about by being in close proximity of a candle.

Is it the minimal light or the fear of maximum darkness that keeps our hands firmly wrapped around the base of our tiny flickering beacon of light. Is that flame much like our own situation, tiny, fragile and in danger of extinction with just the smallest breeze?

What is our connection to the flame and why do we feel so much better when our thoughts, hearts and prayers have been bathed in its tiny points of light? Perhaps understanding or knowing the answer would ruin the magic. I for one am glad we have candles and hands to hold. I am just deeply saddened by the tragic reasons we often have to use them.

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