The cold, dark days of January beg for candlelight. What a simple way to add beauty to our surroundings. Candles can offer warm flickering light, enjoyable fragrance, and even inspiring symbolism.
I light a candle on our fireplace mantle nearly every morning before the sun rises. I love the sound of the matchstick striking in the quiet of the morning. The yellow-white flame flares and fades as it gently kisses the candlewick. I blow out the match and watch the gray smoke disappear as the candle shines with the promise of a new day. Candles can create beauty while we bathe, work, dine or clean the kitchen. No matter the time of day, candlelight instantly creates a peaceful ambiance, and couldn’t we all use a little more of that in our lives?
Most of us have stood in front of a display of candles bringing each one to our nose until we find the perfect one. In wintertime, favorite fragrances often include pine, vanilla, spice and berry. Fragrance experts recommend matching the scent to our activity as some fragrances are energizing and others are more relaxing. I love them all, but even in winter, I prefer a pretty floral scent that transports me to a spring garden. What is your favorite scent?
When I was a teacher, I loved having a candle burning on my classroom desk. I almost believe it had magical powers over my students, causing them to be quieter, calmer and more reflective ~ perfect for a middle school literature classroom. Candles hold symbolic significance and can represent romance, security, hope and spirituality. Saint Francis of Assisi wrote, “All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.”
There are many ways to create more beauty in our lives, but lighting a candle in the deep midwinter takes little effort for big results. So let’s light a candle, soak up the glow, inhale the fragrance, and let it remind us to shine our own light into a dark world. §
“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”
~ Edith Wharton, American Novelist
A Note to You ~ Thank you for being here! Just so you know, on Sundays I share the weekly column I write for The Southern Illinoisan. My Wednesday posts are a little more personal and written specifically for readers of The Simple Swan. In 2023, Wednesday posts will be on a specific topic ~
1st Wednesday ~ Poetry
2nd Wednesday ~ Being Present
3rd Wednesday ~ Something Sublime
4th Wednesday ~ Creating Beauty