Monday, February 23, 2015

Wicks waiting


When I was a little girl, fifty-odd years ago, my mother marched us all to pre-church every Saturday. A few minutes behind the screen confessing to a voice, and time in the center aisle repenting, then she'd give each of us a few pennies or a nickel to put in the jar, so we could light a candle.

I was supposed to light ONE and pray. But all those little wicks were waiting, so every single week I cheated and set several to sparkling.

Recently I've taken this woman's habit on, to start each day by lighting a candle, pouring a cup of something hot, sitting so I can see the bird feeder, busy with activity, outside the window.  A celebration of another day, my little corner of the living room transformed to a holy place.

Then when the day is over I put the rubber stopper in the tub, pour in bath salts and bubbles, set out a towel, and light another candle. For awhile another corner of the world where I am an island. When I'm sufficiently melted I grab a fluffy towel, blow the candle out.

Flickering light as bookends to my day, sentries guarding my world.

Lighting candles because I can remember to blow them out. I am self-sufficient, for now. Twenty or so years from now I may well be in a different place, where my son or daughter has removed the knobs from the stove, as I did for her just a few weeks ago. No forgotten candles on coffee tables. None beside tubs full of too hot water I can't get in and out of.

Twenty years changes everything. So does ten. So does five. Nothing stands still. For now I celebrate my life, and hers, by lighting candles, morning and night, remembering that everything is a fleeting gift. 

3 comments:

kim said...

When I was in grade school, I did the same thing with the lighting of the candles!!! :o)

Anonymous said...

Confessions are good for the soul.

Bev said...

Kim, amazing what sticks with us - the little things, and then some of the bigger chunks of life just flit away. I've always wondered if there was a priest somewhere, watching from the wings, seeing what I was up to, and smiling.