Thursday, February 28, 2013
The Good News is that no matter what seems to happen, I guess we are here until we are not. I'm still here.
This afternoon while practicing the harp, I scorched the kitchen counter top. I've been burning Village Candles and have had good luck with those large scented candles. But this time, it went down to the very bottom of the jar and kept burning.
I smelled a plastic smell, but thought it could have been my odd sense of smell. Bleach water from cleaning out the moldy fruit bin in the refrigerator was still sitting in the sink. I thought it was that.
But then it got stronger.
I walked into the kitchen, saw the candle was now just a little liquid in the bottom of the container and blew out the flame thinking that everything was fine. Goodness it was smokey when it was out. I washed my hands and went to ever-so-slightly move the container (I know, bad idea). It cracked. Still, that wasn't the problem.
It was when the candle jar was moved that I saw the full extent of the damage. Not only had it scorched the counter top the size of a silver dollar or so, but it seriously raised the surface.
There was only one thing to do besides clean it up: I needed to call Partner.
I was working this evening when he would come home to find it. I could cover it with the coffee maker, but that seemed dishonest. Somehow a note didn't seem to be adequate. Taking the dog out, whether the dog needs to be fed, what was in the fridge for dinner, etc. Those were things I could leave on a note for Partner to read. Not this.
So, I called him at his very busy job and told him.
Given that his co-workers were dealing with the results of a recent house fire, he was pretty open and tender about this himself.
A local family lost two elementary school children to a house fire while the dad was burned trying to save them. An older child was still in the burn unit. Mom and infant were okay, but in shock themselves.
Partner initially told the story very carefully the day after the blaze. Several co-workers are EMT's and volunteer firefighters. They were in shock themselves. He was very moved, saying that his fellow fire and rescue friends were not easily given to tears.
Partner said the house was a hot fire and no one could get near it. There was nothing to be done except try to contain it and get it out by the time they got there. Then he added before breaking down, we are all parents and this loss was awful.
I'm sure I gave Partner a scare. Later the evening I'd burned the candle on the counter, we were in the room where I meditate.
He asked me, "Has that candle been burning all day?"
"What candle?" I responded.
"That one," he pointed to, "over there."
Sure enough, I'd left my meditation candle burning all day. It was now 9 p.m. Thank goodness he notice. Thank goodness I didn't burn down the house.
So please, if you burn candles, please keep an eye on them. And if you are like me and have days when you are might be foggy or forgetful, don't light the flame. Just carry the flame of compassion in your heart and let that shine.