I am woefully inexperienced taking photos by candlelight. Without my beloved sunlight to illuminate, I felt challenged using an alternate light source.
Yet, this week the practice alone was enough to inspire.
I lit a scented candle by day on my kitchen counter and kept it burning while I wrote, baked, photographed and organized. It warmed me and kept a sort of company; a fragile, yet noticeable presence each time I walked or worked nearby.
At dinnertime, I lit a tall, elegant taper on our kitchen table. I turned off all the lights and tried to capture a small family scene illuminated by candle and then wondered if a bit of electric light, comfortably set, was cheating.
Olivia commented one evening on how she liked having the candle at dinner, how she thought it was cozy, and Mr. Savory agreed. The last time we lit a candle at dinner regularly, she was probably a toddler. Maybe the routine lasted into Aaron's babyhood, I can't quite recall. But I do remember that once his problems set in, and dinnertime was the beginning of his toughest hour of the day, when he could no longer share our food, I stopped lighting an evening candle.
Candlelight to me represents celebration, quiet, centering, romance. Why light a candle when often, despite a beautifully cooked meal, we were eating with one child in discomfort, perhaps even pain?
This week as I cleared off my desk and organized my writing studio with my candle glowing nearby, constantly coming across sweet little items relating to Aaron or file folders of school and medical paperwork causing me to stop and cry, the process glimmered all around me, undetected. Perhaps because the lighting of a candle in memorial usually takes place in a house of worship, this aspect of my flame eluded me.
My pathway was lit through the routine of practice, through the busying myself in the purpose of believing in my creativity, through the unsettling of items that have sat too long. I could not see this type of illumination but I know I held it.
The candles stay.