Thursday, February 11, 2010

Light a Candle

It's winter right now in the Northern Hemisphere and that means short days, skies of slate gray, piles of snow at times, and the tension of cabin fever crawling up your spine.

It's a time for candles.

There's a reason why February 2--in addition to being Groundhog Day, a Quarter day in the solstice calendar and a Roman festival to Pan--was called CANDLEMAS in the Christian calendar. Well, all right. The Christians took over Pan's festival and transformed the torch-lit street festivities into a more sedate candle-lit procession. They both had the right idea. In the darker days of winter, Let There Be Light! And lots of it.

You can celebrate, too, with a Candle Mini-Vacation. Any candle will do. Tiny little tea light; big, fat 3-wick; slender taper. You pick the size, the color, the scent. Put it in a safe place (out of reach of children, pets, ailing elders and wayward spouses) where you can see it. Take a deep breath...and light it.

And watch.

Notice the color of the flame. Does the flame flicker as the furnace kicks up a gentle current? Is the flame unmoving in stillness? Catch a whiff of the candle's scent or the lingering burnt tang in the air. Clear your mind of all that is pressing in at the moment and just enjoy the soothing simplicity of the candle.

Leave it burning for a while, or blow it out. Light it again later.

Until the candle has melted down to a puddle or burned away to nothing, you have instant mini-vacation. I'm heading to my matches and my cafe-au-lait pillar candle right now.

Blessings on your caregiving day!

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