Wednesday, November 04, 2009


I like candles.  Tapers or pillars, or even in a jar, with real flames.  I think they add a comfortable note to a quiet evening at home, even with lights on.  There's just something about the uneven, flickering light they give, that feels homier than a bulb - even though the bulb is, I must admit, of far more use when reading.

Candles have been taking a hit recently, on several fronts.  They are fire hazards; have you read the warning labels on them?  According to the labels, there's more peril to be had in leaving a lit candle alone in a room for five minutes than in leaving an inquisitive 10-month old in the same room with a bunch of uncapped poison bottles.  It's quite amazing that any of the churches offering votives has survived.  It's bosh, of course.  While one shouldn't leave lit candles for long periods, as long as they are not directly under flammable fabrics or paper and are set in fireproof saucers of some sort (plastic margarine-tub lids are NOT a good idea), they're really fairly safe.

Another recent charge leveled at candles are that they are polluters.  On some micro-scale, I suppose they might be considered an issue of a sort.  But they aren't in enough use - even with all of them out there - to really make a significant difference.  And there are much bigger issues to worry about on earth than the incremental increase in pollution provided by a lit candle.

Light the candles in your house.  Enjoy them.  Have candles on the table at dinner.  Turn off a few lights and sit in the comfortable, flickering, darkness for a while.  It's very soothing to the soul.