Sept. 22, 2019
Home is where we unwind and head to the kitchen at the end of the day. It is true that fragrances have a profound effect on our feelings of well-being. Studies have shown that some fragrances are energizing, like cinnamon, and some aromas, like fresh baked cookies, are comforting. It is also true that too much technology can make us edgy and stressed. It feels like taking time out once in a while makes us feel guilty that we’re not keeping up. Too much noise! What’s the solution?
“Turn off the TV, throw away the paper, Go to the country, build you a home, …” good advice from one of our great poets and musicians, John Prine. If we can set the alarm to get to work on time, we can schedule a part of the day to relax – right? Right! Lighting a candle in your home accomplishes two things – fragrance to soothe the rough edges and a gentle glow to soothe the soul.
Let’s talk about this.
Dinner out can range from fast food to a candlelit room in a ritzy restaurant. So why have we come to expect that a nice restaurant will have candles on the tables? That’s easy – they want us to linger and relax, enjoy the meal and, as we sit across from each other, we talk! So, how about recreating that same ambience at home? Where has all the conversation gone? OK – admit it, you watch TV while cooking, while eating dinner, while cleaning up the kitchen. How about a change of pace – talking and listening is a pretty good way to get to know each other. How was your day? Instead of just “OK” let’s get to the heart of the matter. Those heart to heart talks are so few and far between we forget how important they are. A good way to start might be to light a candle to set the stage for a quiet evening. Dinner can be a bowl of soup and crackers - but – illuminated by candlelight – well, that’s a horse of a different color.
Focus and Simplify.
Too much talk? Understood. The very act of lighting candles has meaning and symbolism all its own. The simple answer is often that glowing candles have the ability to help us focus – to quiet all of that inner chatter – to remember a loved one or to celebrate a birthday. It has a lot to do with being aware of the moment; to focus and to take an inner measure of our life.
There’s another reason a glowing candle seems to have a certain affect – we’re all humans and lighting our way in the world started a long time ago. It is believed that the Egyptians used candles 3,000 BC, the Romans made wicked candles around 500 BC and candles were also made in China and India. Candles were used to light homes, offer a sign of welcome to travelers and certainly for religious ceremonies. Candlelight makes us feel connected somehow to each other – now and long ago.
With so many choices in candle designs, materials, fragrance or no fragrance, focus on the right candle for the right reasons. Candles are the core of décor so take the time to look for quality by checking out where your candles were made – honestly, made in the USA is a good indicator of well-made candles. Check out the burn times to make sure they will last as long as your party or ceremony. Candle making these days is part science and part artistry. “Candlelight doesn’t just happen, it’s made to happen.” Of course you know you should never burn a candle unattended.
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