Of Candles, Cakes, & Balloons

Tell me, what’s the first thing that comes into your mind upon hearing these words? Let me guess, celebrations, parties, birthdays isn’t it? But why them?

Why of all things associated with birthdays, candles, cakes, & balloons stand out the most?

There may be a hundred reasons why. Tradition may be one, for since I opened my eyes to this world, I had already been greeted by this realty. Papa singing happy birthday, a cake in his hands, with lighted candles on top, and mama beside him holding a bunch of colourful balloons.

Funny as it may be but these seemingly ordinary symbolic things may mean more than what we think.

They say that in every story, there must be a beginning and an end. The same goes to the stories of our lives. Birth and death exist. Life is a journey from womb to tomb. No exceptions. You and me, we’re all going to die.

The same goes for candles, cakes, & balloons, they, too, exist only for a fleeting moment in time.

Candles came into existence through the help of their creator. They are shaped, molded, and formed according to their distinct purposes. Some are made for parties, some for ornaments, household decors, and others for funerals. But no matter how different their purposes are, they all share the same goal – that is to give light to the people around them.

Sadly, their light won’t shine forever, as time will come that they’ll also melt into nothingness and return to what they originally are – plain wax, unmolded and unformed.

So too, are cakes that are mixed and baked into perfection, into various kinds, tastes, shapes, and flavours, yet composed of the same basic ingredients of flour, sugar, and starch. Topped with icing, fruits, and various treats, they sure paint anyone’s face with a smile, and fill in ones tummy; ut just like candles that melt, so do their icing. A cake’s life only lasts up to the last bite that one takes.  Sad but true.

The same goes for balloons. They came to life as soon as air is blown into them, and die in a split second with a pop. Their life also ends the moment the hand that holds them lets them go. Nobody knows when, but they just do, they flew away into the visible sky, in the direction people call heaven.

I need not explain further. I think you now understand what I mean. This may be the reason why these three mean birthdays, for they symbolize what you and I have – life.

Of candles, cakes, and balloons, they and we are the same. Same beginning, same end, told in different stories.

But hopefully, like them, our existence will also give light to others, fill hearts with smiles, and bring colors to everyone, everywhere. So that when the time comes for us to be consumed, to melt into nothingness, and fly away, the word “regret” won’t exist.

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