68. Lighting a Candle
Lighting this candle,
Offering the light to countless Buddhas,
the peace and the joy I feel
brighten the face of the Earth.
I stood outside last night just before true darkness deepened the sky. The bright planets of Venus and Jupiter seemed to be gazing at each other, casting their soft iridescence between and around them, creating a shine on the rocky horizon, a deep blue shine so gorgeous my heart expanded and my breath flowed, yearning to be in that glow. When I closed my eyes I felt the night moving into deeper darkness and the two bright lights of the planets impressed themselves on my inner sight like flameless candles - no flicker, just illumination.
I went home to my dark house, turned off the fans, disconnected the appliances and created a darkness as vast as that outside night, a darkness of the familiar. I lit a white candle scented with lemongrass and I watched it flutter and sputter, struggling to ignite. Then like a strong, brave spear of beauty, the flame grew tall, unbending and bright. It showered my ordinary bookcases, TV, couch, pillows, chairs with magic, with a ray as yellow as a spring daffodil and as majestic as the Milky Way spiraling toward Polaris on its nightly path through the Orion Spur and onto the universe.