The Candle

Contemplations on suffering and self-sacrifice

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

On a tiny table a tranquil candle inquires about a match so sad,

“Dear match, why are you distressed? I sense in you angst and unrest.

Is life for you that bad?”

The match shrewdly utters:

“My soul is like a cold October day;

That day you first notice the chills of the gloomy autumn breeze;

That day you see the first leaves, or two, or so, dripping, tenderly down the trees;

That day the sullen voice of doom makes you drowsy, reminding you that you must soon leave.

For how may I find comfort, knowing my tiny head shall soon burn to ashes,

And my body thrown away?

You glorious candle are much more fortunate than I,

For you shall not soon decay—your life is much longer,

Dear candle, why is life so short?”

The match added in utter dismay.

The candle gently replies:

“You are desirous of a long life,

Yet do not comprehend the insignificance of length.

My life may be longer than yours, but I depart this life slowly and painfully,

Eroding bit by bit, little by little, second by second,

Anticipating the dreary hand of death.

To snatch my soul, unwillingly.

But I am joyful! My heart is filled with outmost delight.

For I serve those around me by providing them with light.

My life is full of meaning.”

The conversation between the match and the candle continues until midnight…

A wrinkled and grey hand suddenly reaches out for the match and strikes its head,

The match barely stutters, “Life is…” before going out in a daze.

Light upon light, sparkling and majestic, filling the room with rays.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Perspective of a person looking up at a stop sign with skyscrapers in the background

Returning To The Stage After Burnout

by David Yarde

Shavaun Christian: “You don’t have to know everything to do one thing”

by Ben Ari

How Mindfulness Can Help Deepen Your Shabbat Experience

by My Jewish Learning

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.