As I sat watching the flame rise higher and higher with the dying wick of my red pillar candle, I wondered what my life could be like.

While I wait for the flame to extinguish itself, I find myself pensively waiting. I don’t know what I’m waiting for. I feel as if I’m expecting my life to change.

Waiting for my whole world to right itself with the death of the candle’s flame.

But the only thing that can change with the end of the red pillar candle is my mindset, my expectations, my yearning for someone to rescue me.

An ache in my heart reminds me of the loneliness that sometimes seeps in when I’m trying to convince myself that I’m ok being alone.

Logically alone I have so much more freedom, but then why do I ache for a deep, connected companionship of trust and love?

While I ran to the bathroom, I hoped the candle would wait for me. I had this deep sense that the dying of the flame meant something deep to me.

I just don’t know what.

It’s probably just a way to flip a switch for myself in my brain.

I feel as though I’m starting to not just see what my life could be but feel it. I see a vision and I feel it, hear it, smell it, see the way the light shines in that moment, envision the people around me and the way the energy plays around me.

The candle burns steady now. Like it’s hanging on, refusing the end. I don’t mind. It’s calming to watch.

As the flame dances, changing shape, I feel my mind clearing, just enjoying the movement.

What happens when the last flame of my Yule and 2019 celebrations meets the end of the wick?
Do I mentally close that door and bring myself fully into 2020 and the next decade of my life?

I wonder why we liken the human spirit to a flame.
I see that the flame is bright, but it can be extinguished and naturally goes out.

Perhaps the idea is simply to have it as a metaphor for death but I would much rather think of the human spirit as something stronger that can’t be blown out.

Sure, we can start a fire or light a candle, but we can’t control it while it burns and we can simply put it out with water, blowing it out, or suffocating it.
I know we are considered fragile in a similar sense, but I feel like we are stronger than that.

I don’t like the idea that my spirit can be extinguished or manipulated.
I suppose whether I like it or not, with emotions, death, and trauma it’s not unlikely and it can be relit.

Maybe it’s the lack of personal control I don’t like the thought of.

I love the way the glow of the candle casts it’s light on the things around it. The flame highlights the softness of the stuff owl near by and the tin on which it sits. It brightens the blue of the painted cork board against the wall and lights the black metal leaves on a nearby candle holder.

I will be sad when the flame meets the end of the wick and goes out in a puff of smoke.

As I sit watching the flame dance in its last breaths of life, I want nothing to interrupt the final moments I share with its beautiful light.

I didn’t think the flame would last long tonight, but it stubbornly keeps on burning.

The wax that was piled up around the flame has slowly melted away. Small bubbles of wax remain melting slowly with the dying flame.

Now the flame dances, getting bigger and licking the air in a desperate reach then splitting into two and re-emerging as one thick flame fighting against the end. The long flickers scream out for more time, reaching to find more to burn, just to settle back down and reach out to try again, refusing to accept the end. Down to almost nothing, the flame is brighter than ever.

Reaching, dancing, desperately fighting.

The flickering and tiny sparks worsen, and black smoke rises from the angry, hopeful flame. The flickering hurts my eyes like a strobe light but the emotion the motion creates is grasping at my heart. The flame is slowly losing it’s battle, getting smaller, reaching lower.

Running out of the energy to fight.

The last of the red wax pools in the corners of the tilted candle base and a black ring has formed around the wick and remaining flame. The flame slowly gets smaller and looses more of its brightness.

The flame makes another ditch effort by reaching brightly before begrudgingly accepting its fate.

And with a putter and a spark and a final puff of gray smoke the flame has reached the end of its wick. With the last wisps of gray smoke, I felt my expectations float away.

I now bid 2019 an official goodbye and prepare my mind, heart and soul for a life changing, world altering 2020.