In the 'good' old days coal miners in England and Wales were dirt poor – too poor to even afford candles to light their houses. In a British winter that is a serious problem, because in mid-winter we are lucky to have eight hours of daylight. And those eight hours are often quite dark anyway because of cloudy weather.
When a person gets a bit down and depressed in South Africa, people tend to say 'It is OK, tomorrow the sun will shine again.' You cannot say that in the UK, because we may not see any sunshine for up to three weeks in winter, and that really is depressing for some people.
Anyway, back to the coal miners. They received candles from the mine owners, and these candles were fixed to their hard hats so that they could see where they worked in those pitch dark mines where you could easily fall to your death if you misstep.
Using any of those candles outside of the mine was a grave offence and you could even lose your job for taking a candle away from the mine.
That did not deter the miners from stealing the candles. When they were able to take a candle home and light the candle during the long, dark evenings, they could actually see one another. The luxury of reading was out of the question because of very low literacy levels, and they barely had money for food, never mind books.
That is where the expression 'the light is worth the candle' comes from. Having light in their homes and being able to see one another was worth the risk of stealing the candle and potentially losing your job.
The same holds for our journey through life. No, it is not always pleasant. But then, we are here to learn particular lessons. Once we have dealt with the major themes of our lives, whether it is issues with parents, children, health, relationships or anything else, we experience such relief and peace. We understand so much more about life and about who we are.
And then we look back on our lives and we know that the Light we experience is worth the journey we had to take to get to this point. And gratitude results in more things to be grateful for.
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