By Caitlin Kelly
As I write this post, it’s snowing here in New York.
The world is blessedly silent and softened, flakes swirling in the wind and piling up against our windows and ledges.
Our view of the Hudson River is totally obscured in a blanket of white.
Perfect time for candles!
My vision of candles forever changed about 20 years ago, when I visited Stockholm in late November, when the sun rose at 8:30 a.m. and set around 2:30 p.m.
Darkness arrived so early in the day that it was both unsettling and disorienting.
I’d never before seen businessmen at lunch — dining by candlelight. But it was both a smart way to boost illumination and add to the room’s ambience.
I now start and end my winter days with a bedside scented candle, a gift from a friend.
It’s a soothing start to a dark, cold, windy morning — the scratch of match-head on matchbox, the whoosh and flare of flame, the flicker as it catches the wick and begins to glow.
At night, I breath out, extinguishing it. The day is done.
So much nicer than brilliant, suddenly shocking electric light or, worse, the artificial glow of a tablet, phone, television or computer screen.
(If you ever watched Downtown Abbey on TV, you might recall the Dowager Duchess holding a fan to her face as she confronts the new glare of electric bulbs.)
Candlelight is silent.
Candlelight is gentle.
Candlelight is timeless.
It reconnects us to the past — from the tallow candles of our ancestors to the elegant tapers of Georgian homes (magnified by enormous mirrors everywhere.)
Try it and see how it alters and softens your mood
As the saying goes — it’s better to light a single candle than curse the darkness.