I have always loved candles. An element of fire-they are a symbol of eternal hope in the world- the sacrifice of Prometheus. They cast a soft light that illuminates, but softens the edges of everything. Used by our ancestors for thousands of years, they are still used to celebrate life (birthdays), and the seasons (Hanukah, Christmas or Beltane for example). Maybe it is a residual of our ancestral memory that councils our instinct to respect fire for its life saving qualities.
One of my first memories –I must have been two or three because my parents separated by the time I was three- was during a storm at my parent’s home. The memory comes back in bits and pieces, but I remember the power was out, and I was afraid. My mother sat me on her lap in the family rocking chair (holding at least five generations of family memories), a candle sat in front of us- there was a scent of Sandalwood in the air.
She sang “Jesus Bids Us Shine.” I remember that she had me sing with her. The song comforted my fears, and helped to develop a lifelong appreciation for singing and candles. I wish I could ask her about that night- a parent has the ability to add dimension to a child’s memory: colour, age, time, location and context.
“In this world of darkness, so we must shine- you in your small corner, and I in mine.”
Thank you mom.