Diwali. Hanukka. Solstice. Christmas. All celebrations of Light.
Every so often the goddess Agni catches my attention with regards to how we humans express that Light.
I strike a match and am engulfed by the magic of it, the scritching of a stick with something on its end against a strip of rough paper that results in a burst of fire. It explodes into a ball of brightness at first, then settles down to a perfectly proportioned oval with a pointed top. Colours are cupped in succession but the shimmering teases the eye, preventing definite definition of hues, and unless we reach for a camera we must accept the blur of the dance.
Then we feel the heat. Then we smell the - what word? - fragrance? odour? stench? It isn't essence of the flame; that has a smell also but we must wait until the products of combusion clear. It is mesmerizing.
And the length of the stick and the speed with which the flame consumes it dictates that we transfer that fire somewhere longer lasting. Like a candle. And the choice of a quick shake to extinguish the match or is there time to blow it out.
A wisp of smoke signals the exit of that particular piece of energy. Where did it go, I wonder. "Energy cannot be made or destroyed" comes to mind. Well, I saw it jump onto the candle wick. But it still stayed on the match. Then my breath made that disappear.
Yes, magic. And the firedrop pirouetting on the wick draws far more than mere gazing. I want to run my fingers through it, feel a rapport with those who walk on hot coals. But I merely stare. And then blow out the flame; and then relight it, just to smell that haunting scent of a candle unwinked.