Early on, my mother developed a way to get four lively children to settle down at the dinner table. She started having us eat by candlelight. Now I am sure this was during the late fall, winter, and early spring as I know we didn’t wait till nine to eat dinner in the summer. This ingenious move did indeed do the trick as the gentle glow around the table seemed to calm all of us, and we kids were mesmerized by the flickering flames. After dinner my father would often entertain us with shadow puppets.
However, this approach did not keep my brother from having some fun, much to my mother’s dismay I am sure. My youngest sister is eight years younger than I am and ten years younger than my older brother. I am going to lay all the blame on Doug for what occurred as I am a stickler for the rules. (That is a blog unto itself.)
My earliest recollection would put Pamela (the youngest) at about three or four, and Jamie, my sister with Downs, at about eight. Dinner would be going smoothly when suddenly one of the candles would begin to flicker and wave, catching Jamie and Pam’s attention. When they would look around to see where the breeze was coming from, the flickering would stop. Look back at the candle and the flickering started again. Neither looked at Doug, who was providing this little breeze, and I am sure he convinced them that ghosts were responsible, which then I am certain my parents tried to assure the two that they were not! Once the meal was over, Doug would show both how brave he was by moving his finger through the flame very slowly, so slowly that they thought his finger was just resting there, so they would try. Yup! Burned. Laughter from my brother (I’m sure I wasn’t laughing), and scolding from my parents. Then he would secretly lick his fingers and pinch the flame out. Once again, they would try sans spit, and once again get burned.
I mention all this because despite the mental and physical scarring I am sure my sisters went through at the hands of my brother (remember, I was innocent), Pamela has had a lifelong love for candles and the calming environment they provide. So, while fall officially begins every September 22 or 23 and ends December 22, Pamela’s unofficial Candle Season begins every October 1 and runs through March 31. Each evening she will bathe one or two of her rooms in modest candlelight and enjoy the ensuing peace it provides.
Such a love does not come without hazards, however, and she has been inundated with every kind of candle and candle holder, so much so that one whole bedroom closet is full. People do like a meaningful and easily accessible gift!
So for those of you who like to mark the winter and summer solstice or the fall and spring equinox, I encourage you to add one more date to your calendar and enjoy an indoor season . . . Candle Season. . . and relax in a peaceful environment.