A Few Small Candles

shutterstock_469177472I felt exposed when I learned a personal essay was to be published using my first and last names – unusual as they are. Any illusion of anonymity I may have cherished was about to vanish. Would the risk be worth it?

A friend in Guelph told me the article inspired her to give away a perfectly good couch she no longer needs. She realized that university students would come to town in days. I smiled as I thought of the enjoyment the students would get from the gift, and the pleasure my friend would get from extra space in her home.

A buddy in my choir in Vancouver thanked me. She said the article gave her a sense of levity and possibility. Besides other roles, she is a fledgeling songwriter. If my words can help her music take flight, even a little, I feel blessed.

A woman I met through my gardening group e-mailed an introduction. “I was talking about you to my friend, Jamie, who asked me to connect him to you, as he is also a deep thinker and writer. I am sure you two will have very interesting dialogues!”

The questions this message aroused in me were a little delicate for e-mail. I didn’t have her phone number. With a name like Jamie, rather than James or Jim, I assumed the man was considerably younger than I am. I never pictured myself as a cougar.

Days later, Jamie’s introductory e-mail solved the mystery and relieved my mind. He is a young artist, fascinated by the phenomenon of people who engage fully in life in their later years. He wanted to treat me to coffee in exchange for an opportunity to chat.

I could tell from his e-mail that he is, indeed, a deep thinker, and a beautiful soul, besides. We had a delightful conversation at a funky, independent coffee shop. I am sure we will have more.

It seems I have lit a few small candles. I am enjoying the glow, and so are a few others I know of. So far, so good.

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