Thursday, August 4, 2011

Candles at twilight

The past few evenings I've spent by candlelight. I enjoy candlelight, and not just because it's romantic. No, even alone, I feel the allure of candles. Maybe it dates back hundreds of years to when we only had fire for light in the dark. Maybe it's due to growing up camping a lot and sitting around the campfire. Or maybe it just brings back memories of good times with my family at the Lake, or late nights playing cards and trading stories in Ecuador's rainforest.

Evenings are made to be savored. One great way to do so is to grab a candle and a comfy chair and head into your backyard. Unfurl your chair, or a blanket if that's more your style, and take a seat. This is a time to relax, to unwind. (This works best if you don't have lousy neighbors with a garage band or noisy drunken parties, but you can combat the problem buy buying ear plugs,or bringing out your iPod...not with the pulsating techno or rap, but with something slower and more soothing).

Listen to the soft sounds of dogs down the street barking at imaginary people, or the neighbor's sprinklers playing their quiet song. Maybe a few muted cars drive by on the main roads. It's all just ambiance, the gentle way the earth tells you that it's alive.

If you have trouble melting into the moment and unwinding, transition into it by bringing a book with you, or asking someone to join you on your venture. Once the sky begins to darken, light that candle, it'll give you that warm glow of security as people begin to sleep and the sky awakens.

If you have a partner with you, eventually conversation will die down. You will have moments to reflect and soak in the wonder of the small things in life and in nature. You begin to notice things around you, like how that one lone candle gives off so much light, or how centering it can be to watch the flame dance.

Stars peek out from their hiding places, shadows blanket the ground. It's just you and nature, head to head. As the flame undulated, so does the world around you. Watch the fire, watch the smoke, watch the insects fly to their demise...whatever makes you happy. But by the time you walk away from the twilight by candlelight, no problem will seem too big. Life just seems easier, somehow.

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