…Or, How Not to Become Overwhelmed by Circumstance…
Let my opening words be these: There is a solution for everything. Don’t panic.
This tale begins Wednesday evening, as I knelt before my hearth, praying to Hestia, the Most Gracious, that She continue to bestow Her gifts upon my household. As I held the next candle that was to carry Her blessed flame in my hands, I had a small thought that perhaps this candle would prove to be a problem. It looked fine. No outward signs of damage. Looks, however, are deceiving.
I awoke Thursday morning (the Deipnon), probably a bit more chipper than normal, and went about my day. Having tended to the morning prayers at the hearth, I again looked at the flame burning in the fireplace, and wondered if I ought to switch the candles. The flame was raging in a way that indicated a there might be an imperfection, but still I ignored it, having so much to do. I went back upstairs.
When I eventually came down again, I was met with the shock of the year. My hearth flame had gone out. But I didn’t panic. I didn’t panic because there is a solution to everything… and because I couldn’t really feel bad about the loss.
I know I’d planned to keep the flame going for at least a year, and yes, I am a bit disappointed about not being able to meet my goal, with the November year-marker right around the corner. However, there is a very significant part of me that welcomed the end of that particular flame, and here’s why.
That flame came from a grill lighter. Yep. That was all I had available during the time I sparked my hearthflame. I had always wanted it to be a tad more special than that, though. But I wouldn’t dare snuff my own hearthflame, on purpose, just because I wasn’t satisfied with its origin.
But now, with the flame having consigned itself to a slow, drowning, waxy death, I was finally free to spark the flame I had always wanted. It all couldn’t have happened at a more perfect time. I saw the flame had gone out at 11:30 am, and I was out on the back porch by noon, with a new candle, a bundle of bamboo skewers wrapped with crafting wire to keep them together, one of those plastic page magnifiers that you can find at nearly any convenience store, some prayers to lofty Apollon, casting light upon the world, and to Hestia, Who keeps the flames.
When the prayers were completed, I positioned the skewers in a sunny spot on the concrete, then held the magnifier until there was a fine point of sunlight directed onto the skewers. After a couple of minutes to get the positioning just right, the skewers burst into flames. I then took another unbound skewer, lit it, and with it, lit the candle. After another brief prayer, I took the flame inside and put it into its permanent place in the hearth.
There it remains, even now, glowing with an Otherworldly light. This is not the same light which emanated from the fire sparked by the lighter, last year. My eyes can perceive a purity from its radiance that just was not present in the other flame. For this, I am most grateful, for I now have a hearth worthy of containing the pure flame of Hestia, the pure flame sparked from the Sun.
So, my point, is that when I saw my hearthflame had disappeared, I could have panicked. I could have sobbed. I could have blamed myself (although, I am to blame for negligence). I could have taken any number of self-defeatist actions, but I didn’t. Logic told me that this was an opportunity, and I decided to listen to logic.
When things go awry, don’t sink into denial by rejecting the reality of your circumstance. Really live it. Take it in, and let your logical mind uncover the solution that is waiting just outside the grasp of your emotions. We may always control our reactions to the situations which confront us. Becoming upset, or hysterical, will not rectify any situation. Panicking only makes things worse. So, please, just remember that you are in control of you.