Toward the end of the week Joanne spent with me in Missouri, we lit this lamp. The interesting thing about this lamp is that I can refill the oil without extinguishing the flame, and it will burn for well over a day with a full reservoir. I kept the flame that we lit together as an Eternal Flame for the six months or so we were apart, only extinguishing it when it was time to pack the lamp into the U-Haul as I was leaving to go meet her at the Kansas City airport to begin our journey toward our life together.
Tonight, I lit this Eternal Flame for her. Hopefully, it will be extinguished only when I leave to go meet her again.
I do understand I won't always be here to tend it, which is why I need to make a tall wax candle before I leave for my upcoming business trip; I think I can make a pillar that should last the 72 hours I will be gone. I'm going to get some wooden lighting sticks to use for moving the flame out of the lamp and onto a candle. Realistically, the lamp will need to be cleaned a few times a year, and the wick will eventually need replacing, so being able to transfer the Flame to a different lamp or candle temporarily will be a good idea anyway.
It feels good to me, it feels right. It is helping me feel close to her. I guess that is what the ritual of tending the flame is really about.