Джамшид Азизов

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THE BURNED CANDLE’S PARADISE 

 

Jamshid Azizov.

7/19/2008

 

 

 

“Две разные реки из одного источника.

Слитые вместе становятся глубочайшей”

~ Lao Tzu, Tao Te Tching.

Mother Eagle spreads her wings to fly the skies of the great desert when the dim light of morning appears in East once again. Feelings of freedom and power she carries urge the desert to prepare for the day ahead. Yet it still is dark and the stars still proudly sit on the thrones of Heavens. Down below, on a little dune, there is a candle born to live a life of glory.

 

CANDLE (taking a deep breath):

Hmm! It is getting close to Dawn, yet still is too early for the world to start the new day! The new day that will present a renewed life to those still asleep.

How lovely those stars are?! They are all so high in Heavens and I am here on Earth, both fulfilling our glory until the day we join together to become one again. Let Heavens bless us all and help us in our mission of giving light and life to those on Earth!

 

THORN BUSH (half asleep and embarrassed):

Hey Stranger! Why don’t you stop your “priesthood” until the morning and let us all sleep?

 

CANDLE:

First voice and friend from Earth! Hi there! Please pardon my morning revelation. I was preparing myself for the great deeds of the new day. If you know, I have the whole world waiting to be lightened ahead. I am the Candle of Light and Glory. How strong would you like your morning light to shine, my dear friend?

 

THORN BUSH:

I’d prefer it to be off—you are disturbing my sleep.

 

CANDLE:

Hmm, aren’t our lives too short to spend them on sleep, my friend? Won’t we have enough rest on our journeys to the next world?

 

THORN BUSH:

Sometimes it is better to be sleeping than being awake. (Watching the candle with one eye open) So you are the new “philosophy guy” now?

 

CANDLE:

Please, stay up with me. The Dawn is just about to come. I’d appreciate if you could tell me of the wonders that are waiting for me today, as I am new in these places.

 

THORN BUSH:

Wonders?! What kind of wonders can anyone find in the middle of a desert—the place where the dunes of sand stretch to the ends of the world? (Carefully examining the candle now) You really have no idea where you got in, have you?

 

CANDLE:

There is a piece of beauty in everything. Sometimes it might be invisible, yet it still is always there. You just need to be attentive until Mother Nature lets you see Her wonders.

 

THORN BUSH (sarcastically):

Yeah right! Tell me one thing—have you ever considered becoming a poet or someone like that?

 

CANDLE:

(Not paying attention to sarcasm) Take a look at the fresh morning dew formed on your body and leaves by the misty fog of the Night who wants to leave something good after she is gone. Freshness and fineness fills up your entire being and you feel so light and free!

 

THORN BUSH:

I feel wet and dirty. What’s so wonderful about that? And those are thorns, not leaves. “Leafy” flowers never survive in the desert. (To himself) at least on their own…

 

CANDLE:

Why do you have to be so negative about everything? Look how my light is reflected on those drops of dew? Can’t you see the rainbow formed out of the glow of colors?! See how wet sand sparkles as if millions of diamonds have been spread throughout the place!

 

THORN BUSH:

…negative about it?! This desert stretches to thousands of miles! I don’t know what kind of pretty place you are coming from but I gotta tell you—the Desert is not the place for pretty talks and Nature’s wonders; here, it is about survival. Every single living being takes on the hardest challenges to be able to make it through the day. Here, a day doesn’t start with smiling faces and minds filled with great ideas to make a heaven out of this place. Here, you shrink until you disappear; adapt and change until you become a stranger even to yourself… In the desert, the best change you see is a rare caravan—hoards of humans, stringed in one line, wander through the dunes, like a lost ship roams around the ocean waves…

 

The thorn bush noticed that the candle wasn’t listening; it was staring at East where the first rays of the Sun, glowing red, shot upwards. The sunrise was truly beautiful—it was one of those mornings when you just want to stand with arms wide open and watch the change of colors on the horizon until the eyes start to hurt from light. Yet it didn’t do much to impress the thorn bush. Instead, he called out for someone to wake up.

 

THORN BUSH:

(With sarcasm) Hey Muddy Earth! Wake up dude, or you are going to miss your “beautiful” sunrise again. I also got you a new companion to help you start meditating with your mouth wide open from wonder.

 

MUDDY EARTH:

Yeah, very funny. Is it my fault if you are denied of the pleasures to see the beautiful? (Facing the Sun) Hmm, it really is different today.

 

THORN BUSH:

Yeah, here you go again—the second round of “Oh,-I-see-all-the-beauty” speech. Only this time our respected orator is our “neither-Earth-nor-Water” guy.

 

MUDDY EARTH:

(Facing the candle) I see you are new to these places, my friend. Who are you and how do you feel about our little world? I believe you might not have found it as attractive due to the lack of abundance. Yet we still have some things you might find interesting.

 

CANDLE:

My regards to your kindness. I am the Candle of Light. My flame comes from Heavens and I am entitled to do great deeds on Earth—change it and make it a better place like Heavens. I believe my light and energy will give birth to the abundance of life you lack in here.

 

THORN BUSH:

You really think you can change anything in here? When was the last time you looked at yourself from the side or through the eyes of a stranger?

 

MUDDY EARTH:

Pardon the temper of my friend, yet he is right to some degree—do you really believe you are capable of making any changes in this world or even on this desert?

 

CANDLE:

Our lives, lives of all living beings, and, thus, the world development as a whole, are the results of the choices we, every one of us, make and actions we undertake. In this way, we all are entitled to greatness; the only question is, “are we going to do the things that seem to go beyond our limits?

 

THORN BUSH:

Look, muddy earth. Let our “guest” see and greatly enjoy the desert until the noon. We’ll have plenty of time for further philosophic conversations of you two.

 

So the day of the candle started with wonder. The sunlight was amazing for our little friend; with sunlight, every piece of sand seemed to come back to life, sparkling with every little drop of moisture they kept from the night, before evaporating under the rays. Mother Eagle, slowly floating in the heights, gave the sense of freedom, of clarity of mind, and of the wildness of spirit. The candle was faced with its infinite destiny: the Sun was the perfection that defined the candle’s highest aspirations—it gave light, it gave life and sustained it, and it was free to flow in Heavens…

 

*   *   *

 

MIDDAY

 

The Sun has been high up in the sky for half a day and it has gotten extremely hot. The coolness and moist of the morning disappeared and was replaced with an unbearable heat. The candle suddenly realized that the Sun was too hot to let anything grow in the desert. When it asked for the reason, the Sun just ignored it. Believing in its own powers, the candle burned as hard as it could in order to prove his ability to be as good as the Sun. But the stronger it glowed, the faster it burned, while nothing made the Sun to even look at candle’s direction. Slowly it made its way through the sky. The candle was half burned by midday when it finally realized how miserably weak it was; the tears of desperation covered its whole body, although its face stayed emotionless.

 

THORN BUSH:

Hey ME. Look at your friend. It has been quiet for a long while now. We gotta make sure it is still alive. Why don’t you go ahead and talk to it—I am afraid to get close to it as I am too dry already.

 

ME:

(Getting closer to the candle) Dear fellow. May I disturb your solitude? It is getting a little too hot and dry; the midday heat can be unbearable, and surely is harmful for you. We’d be pleased to have your company with us. I am sure we’ll do our best to entertain you through the heat of the day.

 

THORN BUSH:

(To himself) What a drag?! …

 

CANDLE:

(After being silent for some time) I admire your kindness. Still I’d rather be left alone. Feelings I have are too dumb as if I have lost something very important. I guess I didn’t expect the desert to be like that.

 

THORN BUSH:

…and the last thing you want in this “like-that” desert is to be left alone. Dude, there is no reason to act like a tough and mysterious guy in here. You got things heavy on heart and we know that—spill them out! Secrets and feelings left unshared are a burden too heavy to carry on your own in the desert.

 

CANDLE:

(Looking at ME and TB now) You know, it is strange. Just before the dawn I had been full of ambition to perform great deeds on Earth. I considered myself strong and was delighted by the dance of shadows things created because of my light. (Motioning to TB) I even thought my light was strong enough to make living things grow leaves. Then came the stunning dawn, telling me that all my dreams and visions were found in the Sun. And the Sun truly was beautiful, bright and powerful. I admire it to a great extent. When it came up completely, I suddenly realized that my own light was gone and my flame was almost invisible. Source of my admiration instantly became my most vicious enemy. I envied the Sun. No matter how horrible it sounds, I still do envy it. (Laughing) In agony, I started to burn myself up… Why? Just to be better and light stronger than the Sun! Ha-ha! How silly that was?!…

 

ME:

You know…

 

CANDLE:

… And look at me now. Because I gave too much light and burned faster, there is only half of me left…I spent half of what I am for nothing—for a mere urge of being the first, the best and the strongest. All of that was just to understand that I am nothing compared to the Sun; all that I am proud of turned out to be just a little weak sparkle of flame which is unnoticeable in the day!

 

The thorn bush noticed that the big pile of clouds was approaching from West. Yet it didn’t say anything. Everyone was busy thinking about what the candle had just told, although the patterns of thoughts were different. The thorn bush knew something like that was going to happen—it is like that with most of those who come to the desert. All of them change. ME was looking for the right thing to say and change the way the little candle was thinking because if it went on like that, he would have to put up with two “thorns”. The Sun went behind the dark clouds that reached it a little too fast .The distant thunder could be heard.

 

ME:

What’s your biggest dream, buddy?

 

CANDLE:

Dream?

 

ME:

Yeah. The dream so strong that you don’t even care if it is real or not. The dream so good that you are ready to do anything for its worth. You don’t even care if it can be achieved. The only thing you know is that it is your dream and you are going to make it.

 

CANDLE:

I had one in the morning. To be the Sun for someone. To be crucial for the well being of that someone in this world. I wanted to turn the deserts into gardens. I wanted to be remembered with honor and awe by every child of the desert. For making their lives better… How could I know that I was nothing but a mere candle? Just a… just a little candle.

Now I wonder what dreams should, and can, candles have. How can one have any dreams being invalid to make them come true, huh? Tell me, ME. Of what kind of dreams are we talking in the middle of a desert? … I don’t have any dreams anymore. None! One must have the means to make one’s dreams come true.

 

THORN BUSH:

(Calling ME to the side) I think it is going to rain heavily. Do you think our new friend is going to survive on its own, ME?

 

 

ME:

(Thinking a little while) I think it will need your protection.

 

THORN BUSH:

My protection?! You are kidding right? I need to be protected from it. How am I supposed to get by with its flame—it is going to burn me to my roots in seconds.

 

ME: We gotta get very close to each other. The water in my soil will give your upper roots more moisture and you should turn your thorns back in so that your leaves can come up. I’ll keep your leaves wet from inside while the rain is going to take care of the outside. I know you don’t like changes my brother, but only you can save the candle.

 

THORN BUSH:

Why You gotta care for it? Your water is its biggest enemy just as well as its flame is bad for you. Just like the Sun! (Stares at ME for a moment and then gives up) All right, all right! All right…

 

The three of them got together just as the rain started to fall. Lightning stroke & brought a deafening thunder along. The first drops of rain evaporated hitting the hot sand and for five minutes humidity of air rose immensely. Then it got brought down by the cold rain and it became really cool in the desert. No puddles of water were formed because of the hungry sand. ME’s strategy worked well and protected the candle from the rain, yet the candle seemed very down. ME looked at the thorn bush silently asking to say something. Something good and not sarcastic. The thorn bush gave an embarrassed look at ME, faced the candle and stood there not knowing what to say.

 

THORN BUSH:

You know what, kid? You are not the only one with all that drama going on around you. Everybody goes through it. The keyword here is “going through” and not becoming stuck in there.

 

CANDLE:

(Sighing) yeah, right…

 

The thorn bush and ME exchanged glances.

 

THORN BUSH:

Hey kid. Can I tell you a little story?

A long time ago there lived a thorn bush that used to think of the world and of himself the same way as you do now. He was different from his sisters and brothers; it grew up producing thorns instead of flowers although he was born in one of the most spectacular gardens of the world. His relatives didn’t like him because he was bitter, thorny, hard and ugly. The insecurity and lack of love killed the still unborn flower’s spirit in the young heart of the bush. He became the ugliest and yet the strongest plant in the garden and, as it wasn’t given any name, was called Nevernamed. Nobody could approach him without getting hurt. He never had friends, never liked anybody. Until one day.

One day he saw the most wonderful beauty ever—a little white flower that grew on the banks of the spring. She was so amazing that he could see nothing else around and just stood there watching her. When she saw him looking at her, she didn’t get scared and was the first flower to have actually talked to him in a friendly manner. To have smiled at him and laugh with him. Days passed and they became the best friends…

 

CANDLE:

(Having absolutely no idea how it related to his case) So… what happened then?

 

THORN BUSH:

They became best friends and he got very bound to her. Her name was Narciss. Despite Her fragile and innocent look, She was very strong. Nevernamed knew it but still used her looks as a reason to be closer to her, to protect her when needed. Time went by; Nevernamed never got far from Narciss. The high level of moisture in the soil by the spring started affecting Nevernamed’s roots. Leaves grew out of him and he started looking more like others—became prettier; he tried to be better with all his might—there was nothing more embarrassing for him than seeing Narciss have a thorn bush for a friend—Nevernamed had learned to look at himself from the side very early. Together they did a great job. He was again becoming a flower. Others started liking his now mild personality and he gained some friends too. She literally brought up the flower from a thorn bush—the thing nobody ever believed to be possible

 

CANDLE and ME:

 

THORN BUSH:

Until… Until one morning when people came to take Narciss away from Nevernamed… A little girl came up and stretched her little hands to pick up the princess Narciss. Standing on the way, Nevernamed suddenly realized that his thorns were not strong and sharp enough to sting. Most of his thorns already turned into leaves and those few left could not hurt. In agony, as he looked at Narciss though, he saw that she was smiling… She said she was glad she could change him and he didn’t hurt the little girl… Those were her last words of farewell to him (thunder)

 

CANDLE:

Had they ever met again?

 

THORN BUSH:

No… After that, no abundance of water could keep the flower in Nevernamed. Shortly, he again turned into the most vicious bush in the garden, as a result of which he was thrown out and burnt. Then the winds carried his ashes around the world. They brought him to the driest place on Earth and left him on his own to grow back from nothing. And I tell you what, kid: A flower never grows from its own ashes. Even the best philosophic knowledge of ME, the only one that ever cared for me in here and kept me alive, could not change my attitude after that. One thing eats me up bit by bit from then on: Why did she smile and why did it happen that way? (Facing the candle) For three hours now, you mourn about losing your pride to the Sun—you think everything is over. I never wanted to give up although I didn’t understand anything. True, now I think it is impossible to get back to those times and that place, or to even take a distant look at my dear Narciss, but I am still living on. Life never stops just because you want it to do so. And you don’t have to cry over the things you have no power to change.

 

Rain stopped and the Sun showed itself through the thick darkness of clouds. It was close to the evening and in minutes the Sun was supposed to set on the horizon.

 

 

CANDLE:

Narciss… I think I have heard about her before. Isn’t there a legend about Narciss and her beauty?

 

ME:

Yes, there is one. But over the years, legend has been changed so many times that it has lost its true essence.

 

CANDLE:

Do you know the real story?

 

ME:

I do. I was part of that legend. I used to be a friend of Narciss back when I was a clear pond of water in the garden that Nevernamed mentioned. According to the current legend, Narciss loved herself so much that she fell into the pond trying to see her own image better, and died; and the pond, when asked if he mourned of Narciss’s death because she was so beautiful, said, “I mourn of Narciss’s death, but I never knew of her beauty. Every time she looked at me, all I could see was my own image reflected in her eyes.”

 

CANDLE:

And you want to say that this is all false.

 

ME:

Yes, it is. Narciss truly was the essence of magnificent beauty, and nobody but me knew it better: in her eyes I saw her inner beauty of kindness and care while everybody else on the outside world would go crazy of her looks. Yet only by combining those two beauties one could really take a look at Narciss. Besides, being a crystal clear body of water, I rarely gave any reflections; so I doubt she was there because of her self love. Once I asked her why she always liked to look at me. She said, “The reason I always want to see you is because your immense clarity lets me see the little, wonderfully colored stones on your bottom, and enjoy the glow of sunlight being reflected both upon them and upon your surface. I come to thank your transparency, dear pond.”

She never really had a chance to see her own beauty because I could not reflect well. When she was taken away by humans (She didn’t drown in my waters—flowers don’t sink), I mourned for her still unappreciated beauty and for the little stones whose only audience and friend was Narciss. After some time, I too left that garden to come to these places.

 

CANDLE:

So the historic legend, considered to be one of the best in proving anyone’s self love, has just been proven wrong?

 

ME:

Well, people believe what mostly suits their convictions. You can still keep on believing the other version if you consider it to be better for you.

 

CANDLE:

Did you love Narciss too, as Nevernamed did, for you said you left those places after a while?

 

ME:

I loved Narciss and still immensely do. She was the best flower I could ever wish for my friend. If you speak of love in terms of it being a feminine and masculine unity, then Narciss was destined to be with Nevernamed. Just as I was destined, even back when I was a wild water, to be with the Purest SPRING of Nature.

 

CANDLE:

Wait, you got me confused.

 

ME:

Where did I lack the clarity?

 

CANDLE:

First, how do you want me to believe you were water, not an earth? I don’t really buy the idea of transformation in things.

 

ME:

For you to understand everything, I will have to tell my whole life story up to this moment… I am afraid we just missed the sunset.

 

CANDLE:

(Smiling) I guess the Sun would forgive me for not watching it go away for once, even if it was the only chance I had.

 

ME:

I was born in the great heights of the ancient mountain peaks; in the heights where snow crystals keep their beauty forever and every beginning is as divine as Heavens, as fresh as the morning breath of Nature. I was one of the beloved sons of Gods, and when my time came I flowed freely from in-between mountains hills. I was wild and crazy as I ran downhill; eventually I got so big and strong that I was able to break the banks of the rivers; even the greatest lakes were not able to keep me in control. I flew over all borders never noticing that on the way I lost the clarity of my waters and mind. The most horrible thing is that I never cared; I eventually lost my true identity. Became something that lived day to day only finding joy on earthly pleasures.

 

CANDLE:

So you weren’t this good before?

 

ME:

(Smiling) You really didn’t want to know me back then.

 

CANDLE:

What made that of a big change in such a power?

 

ME:

One day I destroyed a village. Completely. I was everywhere—the houses were crushed down, and all the cattle and crops were washed away. For me it was an entertainment while thousands of humans lost either their lives or means for living, which was not a better option. It was when I broke the well of the village, when everything—my whole life and future, changed. Out of the broken well, there flowed a wonder—the Purest Spring ever. I have never seen anything like her.

 

CANDLE: (smiling) you want to say that she was the one to turn the great muddy river into a pile of muddy earth?

 

ME: (also smiling) Not really. What happened was she became my obsession. All I ever cared to notice was her beauty; in everything that I looked at there was some resemblance of her. That made it impossible for me not only to harm but even to carelessly touch anything. I, the boldest thing ever, could barely touch her, being afraid to leave a mud or a stain on her purity.

One day she asked me, “What is the biggest dream you have, my dear?” It took me a long time to eventually end up with an answer, “I don’t know…” I really did not know. Of course, later I realized that she was my only dream and reality, yet she said that was not enough, that I need to have lots of dreams to which she may and may not be a part.

 

CANDLE:

What did you do then?

 

ME:

What. I asked her to teach me how to dream.

 

CANDLE:

And she did?

 

ME:

She did. She taught me to listen to my heart and to always pay attention to the things invisible and unnoticed. The best lesson of life I ever got was from her.

 

CANDLE:

And it was…

 

ME:

She taught me to find my happiness and joy in the joy of others; to find my dreams in the dreams of others. Only then I realized that to every action there is a consequence…

With my spring, I started noticing the wonders of Mother Nature; of course, it all came with starting to see some of the most horrible and sad sides of life which could be and had to be fixed . First, I used to hate to see the latter and always had an urge to close my eyes on them to concentrate on the positive. Yet she told me that I could no longer find a complete joy by just closing my eyes on the negative. That’s when she asked if I would stand with her on making this world a little prettier place to live in—both for us and for others.

 

CANDLE:

I believe you said, “Yes.”

 

ME:

You know, I saw myself better, for the first time in my life. Guess who I saw? A huge body of water filled with dirt and mud. I was literally of no use to make anything good. And when I told her of me being nothing but dirty water, all she said in response was, “I believe you can become better. Do You?”

 

CANDLE:

And that’s when you became a clear pond.

 

ME:

Times passed. There came the day when no one could separate us or notice our difference in clarity. I was no longer a wild muddy water. She said that I did not change. I just became better—just like She wanted it.

Then one day she left. All of sudden, my sweet spring was no longer with me. Before She left, all She said was, “I’ll be back. Believe me. I’ll find you no matter where you are. Yet first you gotta make yourself really valuable to others. Make something very big out of your life, my dear.”

 

CANDLE:

Now I think I’m getting it. A clear pond decided to leave the garden, after being there a while, and came here to turn the desert into something that looked like Heavens.

 

ME:

I thought I would be able to do anything for her. I turned into a steam, rose to the skies and joined the clouds to come down on one of the driest places on Earth. One thought has occupied my mind ever since—make myself valuable. Little did I now though, that the desert doesn’t recognize the call of the heart. My greatest ambitions were nothing under the heat of the Sun and the hunger of the Soil. Just like you in the morning, I was crushed; one difference was I never gave up the HOPE that you gave away on your first chance and after your first try.

 

CANDLE:

Well that was my only chance bro…

 

ME:

… As time went by I noticed that I became mixed with soil and only under the ground I could stand the unbearable heat of the Sun. Now all my body is gone—sucked into the deep sands of the desert; all I retained is what you see and a little more moisture a few feet below.

To this day, I don’t know where my Spring has gone and whether I will ever see Her again. (Laughing) I would not dare face her with my present looks anyway. As you see, again I became that muddy and dirty being; just a muddy earth in the middle of a huge desert.

(Facing the West horizon) It’s good that it rained today, isn’t it?

 

THORN BUSH:

I guess your day is over kid, and you missed the Sunset. Its sad that we can’t really see it because of the big body of the dune that’s next to us. Otherwise you would have seen how beautiful Sunsets can get. Just as pretty as the Sunrise.

 

CANDLE:

(Teasing) So now you are the Sunrise lover too?!

 

THORN BUSH:

Shut up kid. (Smiling slowly) I was just… saying.

 

The chill of the night was pleasant; it has not always been like that. Sometimes it got so cold in the desert that you could barely stand to breathe because every breath you took seemed to take the life saving warmth out of you. Silence the threesome were enjoying was only being disturbed by the distant howling of the wild dogs and the light sound of sand particles that wind carried along for short and long distances. They were watching the starry sky. The stars were slowly making their way through the night, each one having its own direction and speed. Our little candle was no longer interested in making “wonders” by giving its light in darkness. Stars were fascinating; if one watched long and patiently enough, one could notice how none of the stars ever stopped; they all moved in the pursuit of their own happiness. Being the distant resemblance of Heavens, they were filling the minds of those living beneath them with different things—memories, romance, sorrow, dreams, or just some scientific research.

The candle was the first to hear a strange sound. It was a melody. Very distant, it could be barely heard, yet all the notes were reaching the threesome. It was the sound of a flute. Something really smooth and kind was in that melody. Something really sad. It was music to be listened not asking any question like where it came from or what the meaning of it was.

 

 

*   *   *

 

 

The Dawn was not far away. The rain that poured yesterday afternoon took the desert scent away from the night that was about to let the day take over the world again. The voice of Mother Eagle echoed through the dunes of the desert, all the same adding to the sound of the flute which did not stop playing the entire night. Now, a while ago, the sound got clearer and louder—who ever was playing that magical instrument was getting close. There was only a little bit left from our candle. Nobody slept that night.

Nevernamed noticed something strange. A big group of humans were approaching the dune they stood on. Those were too big for a caravan and they were not lined up like caravans did. As the crowd of people stopped at the foot of the hill, a number of men moved forward and started climbing it.

When on top, men witnessed an oddity—in an area of around two square feet, the earth was dark brown because of the excessive amount of moist it contained, and on it, there was a plant that grew unlike other plants of the desert. Its leaves were green as if it grew in a mild climate, and knowing the area to be the hottest spot on Earth, men were surprised. Under it, an almost burned-out candle was giving its last rays of light. One of the men, the one with white beard, smiled and picked the candle up carefully. Then he told the others to start digging around the muddy earth being careful not to harm the plant—it must have had some unique features to be able to grow like that under tough conditions.

The little girl went up after the men as soon as those reached the top of the hill. She was very little and had to use her little hands to help herself climb the hill. Finally she got to the top and, after giving herself a moment of rest from climbing, ran towards the men. When she saw what was going on, her hazel eyes opened wide with sudden wonder and joy. She ran back to the side of the hill and screamed to others below: Hurray! We have found it!!! WE have found it!!!” People gave out a loud cry of joy, cheering and hugging each other. The little girl was watching them, childishly happy to be the first to tell everyone the great news.

Chief got close to the little girl and picked her up in his hands. The little girl pointed at the people jumping and cheering below, and then tightly hugged the chief barely able to stretch her little hands around his neck. Then she looked at him and started to cheer and talk at the same time.

 

LITTLE GIRL:

Granpa! We have found it! We have finally found it!!!

 

CHIEF:

Well, my dear child. It’s you who found it again. (Handing her the burned candle) The last time when it was only you and me to come here, I was worrying we might not be able to find this place again. Without your idea of candles, I am sure we would have never found it again. To say the truth, I doubted that even this would work—that your candle would stand it the whole day and night. You ended up being right in believing it, dear child…

 

The candle was silently looking at West. Now as it got higher being in the hands of a little girl, it could see the valley over the next hill. Even though the Eastern horizon was getting brighter, it was still dark and one could see the stars. The chief said something to a little girl and raised her high above his head. She stretched her hands and raised the little candle high up in the sky, and people below started cheering even more and louder. The candle looked at people with wonder and, then, noticed that there was a reason for them to be cheering for a burned candle.

 

            Along the valley, disappearing and reappearing in between the dunes, a thin trail of strange little sparkles were lined up to almost reach the far western horizon. Those were some hundreds of other candles, most of them already not burning, making the way for humans and being their guides in the search for water…

 

*   *   *

 

After the men dug a few feet, there appeared a little pond of muddy water. It was just a little bit, yet it was enough to give the men more energy to keep digging. Then the little girl came up to them and said she brought something. As men gave her a way, the little girl came down to the pond, and after whispering something like a little prayer, poured a bowl of crystal clear water on the pond. For a moment there was silence. Then there came a rumbling sound from within the Earth, and as soon as the girl moved away a few feet, there came a huge fountain of clear water from within the depths of Earth. The new born geyser was so strong that it almost tore away a poor little plant that grew by its side.

 

NEVERNAMED:

Dude! Easy man! Now you gotta be so violent for becoming water again?!

 

ME:

She came back buddy! My Pure Spring came back to join me!

 

PURE SPRING:

(Smiling) I didn’t think that you would need me so much to make big things. Sorry, I gave no reasons for why I left back then. These people needed me very much and without me they wouldn’t have survived.

(Facing Nevernamed) I got news for you my friend: Narciss went with that little girl because that little girl’s mother loved flowers and she was sick. The little girl wanted to make her happy. Just as Narciss wanted it. That little girl planted Narciss in her own little garden and has been taking care of her ever since. Narciss thinks you are not far away, and is waiting for you to come to her.

 

The eyes of Nevernamed shone with happiness and joy for a moment. Then he suddenly got very sad looking at the endless dunes that now separated him from his Narciss. Knowing somehow that this was going to happen, PS asked him one question, “Hey. I believe You can do the impossible to find her again. Do You?”

 

*   *   *

 

Somewhere in the middle of an unknown desert, you can find an oasis that amazes the travelers and those who are lost with its beauty, abundance of life, and its people’s hospitality. An oasis that keeps growing and reaching the limits of the desert. They have an old legend about a burned candle that helped desperate people find their way to this oasis. The candle that burned through the ages, giving life and energy to everything that lives on the desert. And anyone can see that candle standing high in the heart of an oasis, where an everlasting water of life flows from. And the name of that oasis is The Burned Candle’s Paradise.


 

THE END