I often live with a lit candle nearby.
The candles are nothing fancy. Today, it’s one of those ordinary wax cylinders you can get at the hardware store for three or four bucks.
I light it to write, to start a project I’m avoiding, to eat dinner if I’m alone – the regular actions and affairs that fill up a life.
The candle doesn’t light up the room. Sunlight and lamplight take care of that. It’s just a flame breaking up stale air. Which is enough to make a space feel less mundane and more hallowed.
It’s like a steadily burning reminder that, Hey, this isn’t routine what you’re doing. This is a sacred little act here. Recover that part of yourself that moves more slowly and pays more attention. It’ll serve you well.
Sometimes I wonder if I’ve made it less hallowed because I do it so often. But the thing is, it’s never the same. It’s a different flame every time burning a different part of the wick every time.
It’s a different me every time, too. More experiences in my memory, more sights seen in my eyes, more touches on my hands since I last put match to wick.
And so I’ll light candles. To remind me to move slowly and give attention. And fill up life not with regular actions and affairs, but sacred little acts.