Being a candle

There is a Disney song that always makes me think of my daughter, and I find myself singing it quietly when I’m having an “I miss Maggie” moment.

When she was in elementary school (sixth grade, I think) she and a classmate were chosen to sing a duet of “Candle On the Water” from “Pete’s Dragon.” I happened to be at West Elementary in Slayton for an unrelated reason, and the music teacher, Steve Harms, was practicing with the students for an upcoming show. He asked me if I wanted to hear the duet, so I stopped in to listen.

Maggie said later my jaw just dropped. I don’t remember that, but I do remember getting slightly misty-eyed listening to the two little girls belt out the beautiful song. They both had lovely voices, and it was so pretty.

During the performance they dressed in counterpoint with one another – Maggie in a black poodle skirt and white top, the other girl in a white poodle skirt and black top. They did a wonderful job.

As the years have gone by, the words have become poignant since Maggie left home to be a grown-up.

“I’ll be your candle on the water, my love for you will always burn…don’t give up, you have somewhere to turn…I’ll never let you go.”

On the other end of the candle spectrum, my son Matt, a junior at MCC in Slayton, is preparing for the upcoming performances of “Beauty and the Beast,” in which he plays Lemuire, the candlestick.

Lemuire looks more like a candelabra to me, since he has his arms up and has flames on both his head and his hands. Therein lies the problem. After the first few days of practice, Matt came home tired and complaining his arms were sore.

Not really thinking about it, I asked if he had overdone while practicing hims drums or guitar.

“Nope,” he replied, and immediately went into his candelabra stance. “This is more tiring than it looks.”

A week or so ago, I was thinking about the holidays and how many people I was feeding – that kind of thing. I had just found out Maggie has to work on both Thanksgiving and Christmas day and won’t be home (she lives in Rochester).

I was feeling a little blue. Matt cured that in a hurry in his own way.

“I’ll be your candle on the water,” I sang quietly while preparing supper.

Passing through the kitchen (he does that regularly, just to see if food appears magically) Matt heard the song while snatching a bit of whatever I was whipping up and mumbled as he wandered into another room.

“You know, it’s harder than it looks,” he remarked, rubbing a bicep.

It took me a minute, then it sank in and all I could do was laugh. He was referring to being a candle.

One thought on “Being a candle

  1. In an almost-related tidbit, the special edition/anniversary edition of Pete’s Dragon just came out on DVD a few weeks ago. My younger brother watched that movie at least once a day from the ages of 3 to 7, so I knew exactly what song you were talking about, and now it’s stuck in my head.

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