One Candle Only Gains

candle-ba 010-crop

Barnes in candlelight

The nights are long, in this season.  Imagine what it was like when there were no electric lights.

Never mind imagine – we don’t have to go far to find a lot of people living it.  I just finished Max Alexander’s Bright Lights No City, about his brother’s new business selling affordable rechargeable batteries to those who live without reliable electricity in Ghana.  At night the schoolchildren struggle to study, without electricity.

There’s a reason it’s also known as “power.”

When I was a child, we had electricity.  So for us it was a novelty, not a life-thwarting limitation, when we turned off the overheads for Chanukah.

The two candles became three, then four, and the light grew and grew until, on the eighth night, all nine candles blazed forth from the front-room window.

I think of that now as a metaphor, for the wisdom that one candle lighting another loses nothing of itself – it only gains.

There is a principle in Judaism that we, in partnership with the Creator, are here to heal the world’s pain and to light the world’s darkness.  In Hebrew it’s “tikkun olam.”


So let the miracle we wish for in this house, on this seventh night of the Festival of Lights, be that the light may grow, from this season and this place on and on and on, to illuminate the whole world.  May our share only increase, from this little light, this modest warmth.


Bowie in Belgium — he knows how.


Bugsy in Arkansas — he knows how.

We share this night with Darlene over at PerPETually Speaking, so do please hop on over there now — and we’re handing off the flame, tomorrow, to the last (no! no! say it isn’t so!) Chanukah post: Layla at Cat Wisdom 101.



About nadbugs

Anita loves cats. This must be because she, too, has had nine lives. She’s been dancing since she could walk, she was a commercial artist and advertising producer, she earned a third-degree black belt in Aikido, she is a drummer with the Afrique Aya Dance Company, she is an attorney, and she’s a meditator and a devoted student of Nonviolent Communication. She also spent one lifetime sidelined with a devastating back injury in 1992. Since then – FELDENKRAIS METHOD® to the rescue. The FELDENKRAIS METHOD is all about dreaming concretely – thinking intelligently and independently by way of a gracious and kind physicality. The work affords all who study it a process by which to reach, with movement, into the mind and the heart, to make nine lives into one whole being.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to One Candle Only Gains

  1. Herman says:

    You light my day Bugs, thank you!

  2. Gizmo says:

    This is a beautiful post…You have expressed the hopes for the season so eloquently…One light kindling another bringing change Happy Chanukah!

  3. That photo is breathtaking!!!! Also…don’t forget the song by Peter Paul & Mary “Light One Candle” xoxo

  4. lahgitana says:

    so lovely that I read it twice! (why would there be any wisecracks?!)

    your boys are beautiful, nay beatific, in that lighting….

    when I first looked at that photo of Earth, I saw the North American continent. with the second reading, I saw Africa and thought about those souls who transit the tip thereof by boat… all of which is apropos of nothing…. sometimes my newly-odd vision experience doesn’t bother me–maybe that’s not nothing! <:-D

  5. Such a beautiful post. Thank you for mentioning tikkun olam. It’s a principle important to our family as well. Happy Chanukah!

  6. Connie Marie says:

    That was a wonderful, loving post with beautiful photos.
    The story was informative but not say ina news type way.
    Hope that makes sense.
    God Bless You and your family

  7. We thank you for sharing your beautiful holiday. Your principles of life and light and well-being are principles we all need. Whatever faith we hold. Happy Hanukkah!

  8. Your sincerity lights all the candles that my heart can hold. May many more humans be ‘lit’ and then proceed to light others… In gratitute for such a lovely post!

  9. Purrs of thanks for this meaningful post. More than ever, we need more light all over the globe.

  10. spike_cat says:

    Bewtiful fotos. I like da image of a candle lighting da way. It gives us hope and brings us tugether. Happy Hanukkah

  11. Wazeau says:

    Thanks for the lovely post. Bugs looks positively illuminated.

  12. Dianda says:

    This is a beautiful post!

  13. The photos and the words – all lovely. I’m so happy you contributed to our blog crawl.

  14. MelanieJ says:

    I love the concept of “tikkun olam.” I’d never heard of it like that before, but it’s perfect for what we animal lovers and rescuers do.

  15. I come to bring some light too 🙂

  16. looloo says:

    Happy New Year, Anita! I wish you a good health above all, and nice moments to share with the two kitties!

    Smoochies to them!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s