by Denise Jenike February 06, 2020
Green thumb not required.
“To everything there is a season”…
Officially, spring begins on the 20th of March, so naturally it’s a good time to talk about gardens, flowers and such. Here in Arizona, we are somewhat limited – unlike California or Hawaii where everything grows so easily - we have to find ways to nurture nature a bit. Here in this area, we may also have to fend off shrubbery munching deer and garden stomping javalina. Have no fear – candles are here. Your garden may not have the blooms or fragrances you have been hoping for, but your dining room table can display a beautiful centerpiece of floating candle flowers. Have you tried floating candles? You might be surprised to know that they are the easiest candles to use because they do not require any special candle holders. Explore the recesses of your kitchen cabinet or sideboard for that odd bowl, left over from a long forgotten fruit bowl set, tucked way in the back. Dust it off, add some water and gently lower the candles into the water. Yes – that’s all it takes.
Glass works so well because, along with the water, the candle flames are reflected throughout. New long burning floating candles are very popular today but this design has an elegant ancient history.
For many of the people of Eastern Asian countries and especially in India, annual celebrations along the river banks take place where hand made little containers of pressed leaves and flowers contain a tiny lit candle carrying a ceremonial prayer or wish out in the waters.
One brief but simple act of reflection to honor a loved one, and the river itself as a source of life and peace, the little candles set adrift by hundreds of people, join together to form an amazing sight of flickering candle flames floating on the water.
Folk music revival.
The lighting of a candle takes on a personal meaning. It’s not always something everybody does every day. It is often reserved for a special event or special occasion. We often think about candlelight and romance. That’s easy to understand – the soft glow makes faces look softer and the flickering light casts moving shadows on the walls. Kind of mysterious. Exotic. Transforming. We’re also familiar with a candlelight vigil where people light candles to show their support for a cause. When you think about planning a gathering of family and friends, it’s an opportunity for candlelight, music and, everybody’s favorite: food. Candlelight has a way of elevating a humble meal to a banquet. Cheers for candles! Songs, like aromas, bring back memories. Whether your gathering includes home baked cinnamon rolls or scented candles that give the illusion of home baked cinnamon rolls, your celebration is about people - folks – your folks. Maybe that is why it’s called Folk Music – songs and stories, written and played by real people, real folks. Time for a folk music revival - anyone?
“What’s so funny about peace, love and understanding?”
This is the title of a song written by Nick Lowe in 1974 and memorably performed by Elvis Costello. We all have a certain soundtrack to our lives but sometimes inspirational words can come from unexpected people or places.
“When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.” — Jimi Hendrix
“If you are depressed you are living in the past, if you are anxious you are living in the future, if you are at peace, you are living in the present.” — Lao Tzu
“Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.” —Ronald Reagan
“It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.” —Eleanor Roosevelt
Candles may be the unsung heroes of our time. Candlelight, the beginning of a beautiful friendship. How does your garden glow?
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by Denise Jenike December 20, 2023
by Denise Jenike September 12, 2023