Women is...: Lighting a Candle

Lighting a Candle

I arrived to the small town in Michigan in cold the winter, to visit comrades, meeting. Like a season, I was in the stage in my life, when much things closed.

For years before, my days and nights were consumed with work to end military rule in my country Nigeria. That had ended suddenly in 1999 and I found myself struggling to re-learn neglected roles and possibly to develop a new one – me as a partner in a wonderful relationship.

For some reason, returning to a cycle of clubbing and partying as I sought to meet and be met by a potential boyfriend didn’t appeal to me. So I delved deep into my life’s experiences for something that I could do to call my soul mate to me. I had been raised to believe that one’s intentions in themselves were powerful and made all the difference, so the clearer a person was in setting an intention, the more likely she would be in achieving her aims. Also, a key part of my fellowship program emphasized the need to use ritual to mark points in our lives. Bringing the two ideas together, I decided to do a ritual to express my readiness to meet my Mr. Right.

So it was that one winter’s night in Kalamazoo, Michigan, I lit a candle, closed my eyes and set as clear an intention as I knew how to give, expressing my desire to welcome someone wonderful into my life. The very act was empowering and liberating, because it felt like I sent out a radio signal that would be received by Mr. Right and I no longer needed to go searching. Instead of hours spent worrying if a certain guy was interested or not, my hours were now spent turning a searchlight into the dark tunnels of my soul. I gained a serenity that allowed me to hear myself think, to sink deeply into my heart’s deepest yearnings. Beneath all the conditioning, what mattered to me?

A year passed, and then in the next, a friend became more. In so many ways, my special friend was all wrong – he was of a different race, a different faith, and a different nationality. The old me would probably not have recognized him but the new me knew that in all the ways that mattered, he was everything I had ever hoped for. I can’t know if my candle ritual helped any in bringing my special person to me but I’ve always felt that somehow it helped me get clear about what I needed, which made arriving at my destination possible.