Monday, December 15, 2008

Let there be light

So during today's dark, rainy, pre-winter solstice evening, instead of cursing the darkness, Jude and I lit candles.* Well, made candles, actually, and with the Cooks and Cooneys. I have to say, it was one of the most soul-satisfying experiences I've had; there was something about hand-making one's own source of light (although we're not sure if we'd use our candles anytime soon- right now, they're too precious...) that moved me very deeply. And the significance of us doing this during the last few longest nights of the year was not lost on me.

Regular beeswax candles are expensive (I calculated, Jude and I now have the equivalent of about $100 worth of beeswax candles) but Dan managed to score a great deal on raw beeswax at a local farm and so we had 16 pounds of beeswax to work with today. I now understand why these candles are so coveted- for one, the smell of melting beeeswax is awesome- like a cross between honey and sunshine :) And they're supposed to burn brighter and longer too.

Making candles must be one of the most painstaking tasks in the world- the dipping of each individual layer of wax, dripping, waiting, dipping some more. Until what starts off looking like Pocky slowly evolves into this sturdy light-bearing vessel, full of promise and brilliance. Surrounded by good friends, good food, the sounds of laughing children doing all the wonderful things that children do, it was one of the most inspiring and rewarding ways anyone could choose to spend a gray and dreary winter afternoon :)

* From Adlai Stevenson's eulogy of Eleanor Roosevelt: "She would rather light candles than curse the darkness and her glow has warmed the world."

[Photos here.]

No comments: