November 2, 2011

by candlelight

When my children were small, I gave up on dangly earrings, necklaces and candles (and late nights out every weekend and seeing movies on opening night, and sleeping in on Saturday, but that's a different story). The earrings and the necklaces went intentionally, after the first almost ripped out ear and broken chain. But the candles just sort of disappeared. I went from always having candles in the house to just not buying them.

I've never really been much of a dangly earring wearer unless I'm dressing up and although I'd like to wear necklaces more, I usually don't remember to put them on, so neither of those was really too much missed. But I did miss candles. They have a calming effect on me, as if they force me to slow down and enjoy the moment I'm in.

Last year I had a sudden realization that my kids were well past the age of pulling my earring out and necklace breaking and slowly, when I remember, I've started wearing jewelry again, and I also started occasionally lighting candles at dinner, or maybe once in a while in the living room for the evening. But I never got back into the habit of having candles.
With the days growing shorter and shorter, our apartment seems darker and darker in the evenings. The yellow paint, which I've gotten used to during the day, feels a little cave-like at night, which is not super comforting, I can tell you.
As I've mentioned before, I'm a big fan of Chez Larsson and a little while back, she mentioned, not for the first time, that she lights candles every night to help balance out the very dark evenings in Sweden and I realized that was the perfect solution for me as well. So for the past week, I've made an effort to light candles every night. Tea lights in jars, pillar candles on saucers, tapers in make shift holders (little jars filled with salt). And it works. Strange how a small thing like candlelight can make such a difference. Games or books or knitting (or trying to decide what to knit with some of the yarn I've spun) by candlelight is just, nicer, somehow.
Do you burn candles on a regular basis? How do you ward off the winter blues?