In That Moment Essay

702 Words3 Pages
The lights go out – another power outage. “Grab the candles,” Mom says, and I do. My younger brother and I raid every room to collect the tall candles and votives spaced around the house. I hurry from shelf to shelf gathering wax sticks in my arms and place them in the living room, a few candles in each corner except for a small red votive. That one I keep. It is the one I will take to the coffee table to use to read. I slide my book, Things Fall Apart, beside the candle holder, Photo credit: Eleanor K., Bethesda, MD determined to finish the last three chapters, but lacking conviction. So the book remains closed. A sigh escapes my brother’s lips. “This is boring,” he says. A drop of wax falls on my book. “I know,” I say, but really, I am enjoying the stillness. I like to watch the candle burn and feel that life is simple. I like to look out the window into an immediate darkness unspoiled by harsh light. I cherish these silent moments when I feel as if I can live the way they lived, the people of the past – the Egyptians, the Pilgrims, the Greeks – anyone who ever lived to see the black color I’m seeing, anyone who lived to see a yellow flame and depended on it. I feel at one with a secret, primeval age. I’m convinced that night, in this unhampered state, is the closest a person can get to experiencing the past. So, what was night really like for them? Night, as we know it now, is a mellow, tender thing compared to the impenetrable darkness that cloaked Earth’s first people. Even its beauty seemed unparalleled. What did a farmer’s family do at night? Of course, the darkness must have brought them together, forced them into each other’s company as it has done to us tonight – fostered camaraderie in a time of fear and uncertainty. A fire probably blazed in a central room where the family gathered to talk and relax. Night was a time when men and women were

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