Monday, March 17, 2014

Let it Shine

 




I love candles and have
a stash in a drawer to prove it.

We didn't burn many 
candles in our house when
I was a child, except when
celebrating a birthday
or when my parents 
entertained.





Lighting a candle was an
occasion.

In adulthood, however,
it struck me:  

life is an occasion.





Often, as a young wife,
I'd light those long taper
candles for dinners that I'd
happily create when my
husband and I returned
home from work.

But that was about it.





As a new mom, I began
to light a candle when I'd
do the dishes and clean
up the kitchen after dinner.
{My hubby would oversee
the bath hour....}

I liked the fragrance, the
flicker and the peace that
it brought me, and I believed
it elevated a mundane task
to something a bit more
special.





Eventually, I ushered the
magic of candlelight to our
family dinner table.  Four or
five unscented little votives
were all it took to make our
mealtimes feel cozy and festive.

I attempted to bring my
fondness for candles into
a morning routine, as well.

{Why wait until dinner?}




Two-thirds of the school
year here begins with dark
mornings, and 100 percent
of our mornings in those
days started with a lot of 
hustle and bustle.

Before the kids get on the
bus, I reflected, we should
light a candle, say a short
prayer for the day ahead,
and then they can take
turns blowing the 
candle out.





With my birthday coming
on the heels of this idea,
I asked the kids, then
twelve and eight, to each
write out a breakfast prayer
as my birthday gift, which
they were kind enough to do,
even typing them out on our
computer : )





Although the breakfast candle
and prayer ritual eventually
extinguished itself due to 
the craziness of school day
mornings, I still have their
little prayers, tucked in a
kitchen drawer.


.....be kind to one another
as we start this new day off.

....help us to remember those
who are less fortunate than we are.


Amen.





These days, with my daughter
at college and my son a very
busy high school freshman,
I still enjoy lighting a candle
in the morning.

As I click the lighter to
attention and bring it to
the wick, I run over my
gratitudes, which begin
with a warm house and
a roof over my head, and
end with thoughts of those
who I love.




And when I blow it out,
whether it's because I'm
leaving the house or getting
ready for bed, the scent
of candle smoke reminds
me of birthdays and family
dinners, of ordinary nights
washing dishes and humble
children's prayers on busy
school days.


Life's occasions.

How do you celebrate them?



xo
Suzanne



all images my own

20 comments:

Leslie said...

It is amazing that something so simple can make such a difference in our mood. Seattle is very dark and gray and I use lots of candles and votives. Sometimes I feel like a heavy fragrance, other times just a tea light. We started lighting a candle at night when the kids were little and (even if I'm by myself) I still do it to this day:) Enjoy your week! xxL

Mary Timmers said...

Suzanne, I LOVE this post. I love the progression of candles into your lives and the memories they invoke. I burn candles all the time because I like the fragrance it gives our home. And you're right, when we blow them out at night, those memories of times past, especially birthday parties, come right back.

Thanks for a beautifully written reminder. Have a memorable week.

Love,
Mary

Hindsfeet said...

funny Suzanne....I've totally been into candles the last few months all the sudden....have a vanilla crème brulee burning on my stovetop even as I type this, and a vanilla sanlewood candle on my coffee table that's about to get lit.......

....I agree....it lends a sacredness to the most simple environment or occasion.....

...and we can all use a little more of the 'sacred'.....

much love,
Liz ~*

thejugglestruggle.net said...

I, too, love the soft glow of candles. It is a beautiful reminder of the power of a simple little light in a world of darkness.
xo
~L

Blondie's Journal said...

You've given lighting candles a whole new meaning! I find them soothing, like a cup of tea on a gloomy rainy day. I always liked to have one burning in the kitchen when the children arrived home from school, to me it symbolized the home fires burning. They were safe and warm again, at least to me.

XO,
Jane

Charm Bracelet Diva {at Home} said...

Your candle "history" reads exactly like my own, but for the morning ritual (which I love btw). My husband actually bought me something like 11 new candles for Christmas (ok so he got carried away). My favorite Yankee scent is Harvest, reminds me of the fall and God's bounty. I burn it all year round. Candles also make me think of church, I grew up in the Catholic church (still there!) and candles play a big role in so many ways there. May just have to start that morning devotion. xoKathleen

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Such a lovely, thoughtful post as always :) Hoping you have a wonderful week ahead of you! xo

Unknown said...

Candles are very special to me too. They make me feel safe and quiet, cocooned. xo

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

Candles and special lighting always do make things feel more special...I don't know why I don't do it more often. Now I will!

Farmgirl Paints said...

Never thought about any of that. But I will now. You have a gift girl.

Joyti said...

I love candles, but yes, they were an "occasion" when I was small.

I love celebrating with homemade cake :)

Bonnie said...

Suzanne, Love your beautiful new header. I need a change. I have so many things I need to do to update my blog.

Beautiful post. Thank you for reminding me of savoring the scents of candles and for the sensual pleasure of the flickering light and the ambience it brings. I should light a candle more often just for myself.

The candle being lite by the children and prayers in the morning was a special idea that I am sure they will do when they have children. I wish I had thought of that. Candlelight has an effect on us at any age.

I recommended your blog to a new blogger friend. Her name is Kim.

Just a little something from Judy said...

Once again your post tugged at my heart strings. I grew up in a home where my mother lit candles for every single special occasion, whether family breakfasts, family dinners, and every birthday. I find myself doing the same thing, which made it so much fun to read this post. I really like the candle and the prayer. The best way to start every day.

michele said...

oh i love these rituals you have described, suzanne. i don't light candles nearly enough. for years i couldn't tolerate scented candles (allergies) but even unscented ones elevate the mood. i think it's the simplest way to add romance to any home in the evening. little white votives in clear wee jars...ahhhhhh.

michele

"Create Beauty" said...

What a lovely ritual!!! I must begin something such as this.

Speaking of candles, come by and see how one was enjoyed....

How I enjoy your writing
and inspiring messages Suzanne!

~ Violet

Melissa said...

Soooo love this post Suzanne...
I'm a candle lighter and a oil burner...both instantly bring back memories for me too...
The smells remind me of places, moments in our history as a family and friends abroad.
I love thinking of you doing the same across the globe...Melissa xx

patty said...

lovely, suzanne! i love candles, too... all through the house. as for celebrating occasions... lots of hugs and kisses, text messages, special meals. xo

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

I love candles, but I don't burn them very often. I wonder why? Maybe a morning candle routine will be just the ticket.

Beautiful post.

Fondly,
Glenda

Felicity said...

We truly are kindred spirits Suzanne and I love how you spark me into action.
No more boring washing up - there will be a scented candle lit and some music played from now on.
Thank you and blessings for your upcoming special day xxx

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good morning Suzanne!

I love to light candles in the garden, at night, within safe proximity of my white inpatiens. I enjoy the glow of the candles and the white flowers with the overhead light of the moon. How do I celebrate life's occasions? Well, like you, I think that life itself in its daily form, is to be celebrated with gratitude. For me, that's simply stopping what I'm doing, looking up, looking down, looking at a usual object or a person, and just taking a little longer to observe. Then the gratitude starts to flow. That inner spring of happiness never extinguishes.

Lovely post Suzanne. This is a poem. I hope you are taking your writing to publishers? I am now writing for a magazine on a regular basis and I'm enjoying it. I know you should be too, or making a book.

Thank you for coming to visit my post. Much love and let's make our own spring since we can't seem to catch up to the other part of the country! LOVE! Anita