73 – Candles *

Special thanks to Fraggle for providing the photos. Fraggle is in the UK and I encourage readers to visit her photography blog Fraggle: Rocking a camera across the universe. Please tell her I sent you and feel free to comment on her images here. All images are copyrighted by Fraggle and Fragglerocking Photo Blog.

Click the video above for 2 minutes of background waves while reading.

I like walking on the beach. It is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

We lit candles to accompany dinner last night. Just two inexpensive candlesticks – each stuck into a coffee cup with sand. As we ate to a pleasant flickering glow, I had an ah-ha moment followed by a smile because I determined my topic for today’s beach walk.

A candle seems so simple, a mass of wax surrounding a braided central wick drawing its fuel from the melted wax upward to its tip. A wick that is burning slow enough that we don’t notice it getting shorter.

A candle has a flame showing a range of colors from cream to orange shining in all directions as halos in the dark. A flame providing just enough light to see through the darkness – just enough light for ambiance. A candle mimicking the outside twilight that is fighting the approaching darkness. When dinner is over, outside will be dark, but within the walls will be twilight.

A candle whose fuel-providing wax can be molded into many shapes and accept synthetic oils to deliver an environment rich in pine, vanilla, rainforests, sea breezes, baked goods, cinnamon, lavender, and countless more. Scents for adding atmosphere and/or masking odors.

Candles are the light of tabletops, candle holders, sconces, candelabras, chandeliers, jars, tea lights, and more. We find candles in a variety of shapes, such as tapered sticks, cylinders, and a wide assortment of expressions.

Candles are the light of relaxation, romance, commemoration, hope, courage, remembrance, and festivals. The light of freshness, quiet, calm, and peace – of warmth, kindness, and gentleness.

Candles are a simple display of light – one light shining in the darkness as a future idea or a memory – a light flickering as a continuous dance that doesn’t repeat movements.

My mind reminds me of a few candles I enjoy. The single candle in each window of a house as I walk the neighborhood to see Christmas light displays. Yes, that house with one candle in each front window has a way of outshining extravagance.

I think about our Christmas Eve church service – the electric lights off, and the light of one candle turns into a flickering sea of peace and goodwill to the music of Silent Night. A candle may be one, but in a sea of ones, it is a special moment.

Whereas a single candle can light many, I also enjoy how mirrors can convert a single candle into a seemingly infinite number of lights.

I think about how an English candlemaker and an Irish soapmaker settled in Cincinnati, married sisters, then formed a company that eventually became a global domestic product giant. Yes, candles remind me of Procter & Gamble.

There is a degree of uncertainty in a candle’s wavering flame – but I wonder how many ways we can apply that analogy to life? In good times we associate candles with birthday cake, symbols of shining hope for the year ahead – a wish and a puff – and then the light is gone, but part of that candle remains in us. In bad times, candles represent loss, strife, and the need for comfort, remembrance, and support of the troubled, the ill, the missing, and the dead.

Being by the sea reminds me that a lighthouse along a coast acts as a single candle guiding sailors into a safe harbor and keeping them safe from rocky shores – just like a single candle of home delivering reassurance,

Here I am, walking on a warm, sunny day thinking about candles in a nighttime setting. Yet, as I stare across the water, I notice the bright blue sky with a few fluffy white clouds and scattered wispy streaks. The brightness comes from our sun – our huge candle in the sky with a giant central wick embedded into a ball fueled by hydrogen instead of wax.

Candles are warm glows providing calm. Whether flicking in a quiet room on a dark winter night or illuminating the joys of friends gathering around a table of food, drink, and conversation – whether pronouncing the joys of a birthday cake or light for a special memory – I think we all agree that candles are special – and for me, candles provided good fodder to ponder as I walk. After all, I like walking on the beach because it is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

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108 thoughts on “73 – Candles *”

  1. Really great post so much symbolism. I’m not sure if a day has gone by without me lighing a candle Frank❣️ It truly represents all of the things you mentioned and this weekend I surprised my mom with a wax handmade ring to make sure it fit for a ring I’m having made for her for her 85th b.d. My daughter also make candles with aromatherpy for all of the mothers this weekend. Truly lighting candles has so much significance and when you blow out the light you can bring the light inside❣️💓

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I loved everything about this one, Frank. From the wonderful photos Fraggle supplied, to your wide ranging thoughts and ending with that lovely music. Candles do a lot of jobs, don’t they? 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah!! It’s nice to get to know. Will be visiting your blog surely. A bit distracted these days because of my upcoming new release but I’ll be back with more energy and time soon. Can’t wait to discover more of your writings. Btw, I’m from Mumbai, India. 🤗😁

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I have a house full of candles so this post really spoke to me. Whether it’s a candle on a window sill, a dining table lit up by a cosy candle or a scented candle near my bath, there’s something absolutely pure and joyful about the ambience a candle emits. Lovely words and wonderful photos by Fraggle. Shine on Frank!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Miriam,
      Cheers to your love for candles. So many styles and so many times & places for candles. I like them, too, but should embrace them more. Come to think about it, hopefully I will remember to light one after my morning errands. Thanks for sharing your joy about candles and for the kind words about the post and Fraggle’s photos.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ivor,
      Thank you for the kind words and for the throwback song to another time. Seeing the sea of candles along with various images is a reminder of the difficult nature of those times. I recently read an article about the lady kneeling over the body at Kent State – a story about her, the person who was shot, and the photographer. Very interesting. Here it is https://www.washingtonpost.com/magazine/2021/04/19/girl-kent-state-photo-lifelong-burden-being-national-symbol/

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for the link Frank, an absolutely stunning story, and even here in Australia I remember the photo, … and I still play this icon song, written by Neil Young …

        Liked by 1 person

  4. We have a lot of candles in our house, and we often enjoy lighting around 10 of them and sitting just in that light, enjoying the fragrance and calm that scented candles imbue. Some have ‘woodwicks’, so crackle like an open fire. It is a relaxing way to while away some time after a busy day.
    Lovely words, and of course great photos too, Frank.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pete,
      Cheers to another candle lover. Self-identification to them wasn’t a thought I considered and I must say that I’m enjoying discovering who actively embrace candles in their life. Because I haven’t encountered “woodwicks” before, I went to YouTube – how interesting! Thank you for the suggestion!!! Also, thank you for sharing and the kind words about my words and Fraggle’s wonderful photos.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post…….I’ve always been a “candle person”. Back in the 60s/70s we rarely used an electric lamp – we had groups of candles on tables for light. The atmosphere was so calming. I find candle flame so mesmerizing and relaxing. Candles indeed have a number of uses/purposes but my FAVORITE thing is the peaceful feeling I have watching a flickering lit candle. We have single electric candles in the windows of our house at Christmas and while our decorating isn’t extravagant other than strands of white lights on our front porch, we like to think that in a neighborhood full of flashing lights and animated figures our house on the hill with the white lights reflects US. I think of the sun AND the moon as “candles” lighting our days and nights and I know people who are “candles” bringing light and happiness to those around them just by BEING there. Thanks again for a wonderfully thought provoking subject Frank!

    Pam

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pam,
      Wow … I didn’t anticipate so many confessions from candle lovers, but this has turned into one of the unexpected pleasures that happens in blogging. Thanks for sharing some of the ways you embrace candles. Cheers to your simple Christmas lights display. Pete (before you) introduced me to something new – woodwick candles. Do you have them?

      Like

  6. A beautiful post, Frank, and lovely photos by Fraggle. You’re right that I wouldn’t associate candles with a beach walk. 😀
    Since the pandemic, we’ve been meeting virtually nearly every Friday night with our children and their spouses, and we light Shabbos candles (or some type of candle).
    I like candles, but I’m glad that we don’t have to rely on them for illumination, as people once did–at least those who could afford to.
    Thank you for linking my poem on lighting a candle for remembrance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Merril,
      I chuckled at your thought of not associating candles with a beach walk – which is the reason I started with the night before. Love your pandemic/Zoom tradition of lighting candles for your gathering. Both a special and symbolic thought – but no kidding about happy not to rely on them for illumination. Thanks for your poem. There were many posts about candles, but I looked for posts that I felt fit my thoughts – and yours was a no-doubter. Thank you for it and the kind words about Fraggle’s photos and the walk.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. That was lovely Frank. Candles also make me think of the past, the distant past. Thousands of years ago the flame was the only source of light and heat and every time I light a candle I think of the people who looked into the flames so very long ago. For a split second it is like seeing through time.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I did not know the story behind Procter & Gamble! Candles are lovely for all the reasons you mention… Thanks for reminding me how they can illuminate the joys of friends and family gathering around a table, as I prepare to see my family for the first time in over a year… There will be candles!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Barbara,
      Being Cincinnati based, I had chances to hear about P&G’s origin, and so I to take the opportunity to add a tidbit that many do not know. Cheers to the upcoming visit with family. Candles on the table will help celebrate the wonderful occasion. Enjoy!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ah, Frank, beautiful post, my friend and it may surprise you, but for some time, I used to create Art Candles. So many things I learned back then and such a wonderful feeling molding hot wax and giving it shapes! Yamas!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marina,
      Surprise! Although I didn’t know about your candle era, BUT I am not surprised. Your artistic side has many ways of expressing itself. I still remember asking you about cooking … and your reply was something like, I cook like I paint – we will see what comes together. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

      Like

  10. Candles signify peace to me. They provide a safe harbor from all the craziness around us by focusing our attention on its flame. I love a good candle for many reasons, but most of all because of that.

    Liked by 1 person

              1. It was great, smelled like real bacon. Aunt Sadies was (is) a company out of Vermont and they’re still kicking. But I do not believe the bacon scented candle is available any longer, so you’ll just have to cook up the real thing.

                As for the woodwick candles, I know peeps who swear by them because it does have that crackle like a fire. And the candles burn time goes on and on.

                Liked by 1 person

    1. Jaya,
      As one reader mentioned, candles as a beach walk topic surprised her – and that is the reason I started with the context of the origination of the idea. Glad you enjoyed this. Meanwhile, Oh yes – candles are the combination of beauty, presence, and comfort – a great description – but your “raw essence” closing is wonderful! Thank you!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. How beautiful to read another of your beachwalks and candles are a beautiful topic. I find them very soothing with their glowing swaying flames. Growing up in India candles were a go to when we had to often spend hours without electricity. Now with life in US they are beautiful decorative and festive additions to our home and life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. PD,
      Welcome back! For me, this topic is perfect for your return. … oh yes … “soothing from the glowing swaying flame” … a glorious thought indeed. Thanks for adding your experience with candles in different countries because I think that is an important point. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. What lovely photos, Fraggle! Thanks for sharing them. Frank, I enjoyed your thoughts. I always love a candlelight service and candles (or lamp “candles”) in windows at Christmas. During Christmas in 1974, I started working at the youth hostel in Grindelwald, Switzerland where their large tree had real candles on the branches. Lovely but you certainly have to be careful. Also, candles made from beeswax are my favorites and smell so good. I’m not a fan of stinky candles, but a few scents if subtle and natural, are nice.

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janet,
      Cheers to Fraggle’s fabulous photos for this walk. Personally, I love the variety of images. Hey – you are at least the second person mentioning their fondness of beeswax candles! Thanks for sharing the interesting story about the Swiss tree. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a live tree with lit candles!

      Like

  13. So beautiful Frank and Fraggle!! Candles do all these things and lighting a small votive today reminds me to pray. I remember those little candles from childhood and envied adults who had money to put in the donation box, so they could light one. Once I sneaked into church and lit one for free!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Donna,
      The P&G story is due to two factors: I’m in Cincinnati & PG is a Cincinnati-based company. A soap maker and a candlemaker sure did well – and to think the company is known across the world. Dinner by simple candlelight is a good thing – but it may also a suggestion for you to try again. Think of it this way – you don’t need a special occasion for candles because candles can make the occasion special.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I really enjoyed this post and the music provided, Frank. I like the way you described the candles in the sand-filled coffee cups. So simple, yet I could so easily imagine how much ambience they would add, just by candle glow. I went through a phase when younger where I made sand candles by the dozens. I wasn’t very skilled, I recall, but I enjoyed the process.

    Fraggle’s photos are beautiful. I felt a serenity settle over me after reading this post, and needed it today. A welcome exhale!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Frank, I’ve always heard that every woman (and probably most men, too!) looks more attractive in candlelight! Perhaps that’s because the “flaws” are softened in a flickering glow? Anyway, it’s kind of sad knowing that some households can’t enjoy candles because one of the residents might be on oxygen. Lovely post today!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Debbie,
      I have never knowingly thought about attractiveness related to candlelight. It’s an interesting thought, and I can see what you saying. Instead of hiding flaws, I would tend to the benefit of the softening glow along with the mood-enhancing powers of the candles. Then again, I would not be surprised if someone has done a study on this topic. Thanks for making me wonder.

      Liked by 2 people

  16. Frank,
    Candles are a topic I never would have guessed I’d see in a Beach Walk Reflection.
    It’s a great topic though, as you have waxed both philosophical and poetic.
    Fraggle’s photos a wonderful! You have a myriad of talented pals. Thank you for sharing, and I will hop over to visit her!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Resa,
      Thank you. An odd topic for sure for a beach walk, but the idea did come from the dinner the next before. So cheers to that happening. Yes, Fraggle’s photos are wonderful. When I received her photos, I was stunned and smiling at the variety and quality. When you visit, tell her I sent you.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Life is better through candlelight. Everything becomes a soft glow. I love all or your thoughts on candles. As you began, I thought you would add that our lives – each individual life – comes in different colors and sizes and shapes, yet we each burn slowly yet much too quickly, not even noticing how the wax of our physical being melts until all that’s left is a flame, which flickers and is gone. Oh dear. A bit philosophical and depressing.
    Like you, I prefer the simplicity of candles in the windows for Christmas decoration, and I light a candle at our dinner table every night. What a great topic, Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pam,
      Oh dear – you are apologizing for being a bit philosophical, but I love you example. There are so many good thoughts here, my have to gather them for creating volume 2. Thank you!!! Cheers to another your who prefer the simple candle lights in the windows at Christmas. You light a candle every night for dinner? Impressive – and a great example of the specialness candles provide.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. With the recent loss of our family’s matriarch, candles of remembrance have been burning reminding us of the special human who touched and shaped our lives in becoming who we all are. As I’ve browsed through my photo catalog, I’ve found even more photos of joy where candles played a big part of her life’s most joyful events.
    🕯🕯🕯

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Candle light makes everything so much softer and welcoming. While I am glad I don’t have to depend on them for light, there is nothing better than filling a room with candle light. Or my favourite, a bath with nothing but candles for a warm glow.
    Beautiful pictures by Fraggle!

    Like

    1. Britain,
      Welcome first-time commenter to my fine sands of my personal cyber-beach. Cheers to your joy in candles. I, too know I need to light them more often. Glad that you found this walk to be a relaxing meander. Relaxing is one goal for all the walks, so feel free to return at any time. Where are you located within Britain?

      Like

  20. Hah! I was wrong…I thought you were going to talk about having a birthday yourself, LOL!
    Yes, a bright light in darkness…but DO let it shine, and don’t hide its light under a bushel as the song goes…And even after you blow out the flame there is still a glow of the wick for a time…which always reminds me that God will not snuff out a glowing wick…the teeny faith we may have; well He will tend to it and cause it to glow brightly and even into a flame once again!

    Long years ago, someone gifted me with a pair of scented candles, which I found too pretty to burn…maybe that was a good thing, because I had to rid my place of them, I was very allergic to them! Hence no scented candles for me…or any other scents, not in their natural form.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ingrid,
      You had me chuckling more than once in your comment. 🙂 However, birthday was the topic on my birthday in February. 🙂 I also smiled at the word bushel because it doesn’t seem to be used as much anymore – well, at least in my circles. Love your idea around the glowing wick after blowing at the flame. Well done! Bummer about you being allergic to scented candles. But, at least you had them longer than anticipated. Thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I love candles, we always have a bunch of them around the living room for setting the mood during evenings. They’re also pretty handy to have during power cuts! I also like candles for illuminating my photographic subjects, for those occasions when I do some still life!

    Like

  22. I love your meditation on candles, Frank! as I have a particular soft spot for them. When Loving Husband and I first started travelling together, candles were a souvenir we brought home, as we loved dining by candlelight as a young couple.

    When our children came along, we stopped lighting candles as they became a toddler hazard, so we mostly lit candles when we visited churches at home and abroad.

    We still have our collection of travel candles, most of them already burned down some, but still beautiful and receptacles of good memores.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ju-Lyn,
      I appreciate your travel-candles story. Yes, they bring back memories, but I enjoyed the fact that you used them. I say that because many people would not use souvenirs. But there is good news. There will be a time when you renew your tradition. Thanks for sharing!

      Like

    1. Cheryl,
      Welcome first-time commenter to the cyber-sands of my personal beach. Thumbs up to the combination of candles, soft music, and wine. The feel in this walk is something I try to do across all the walks. I want calm, relaxing, and thought-provoking. Where are you located in the world? I’m in Cincinnati Ohio, which is not a beach community.

      Like

      1. Hi Frank, consider your mission accomplished ~ calm, relaxing, and thought-provoking! I live in Campbell, California which is 20 minutes from Santa Cruz, a beach town. Memorial weekend finds my family up at Lake County enjoying a warm weekend on the lake. Warmly, C

        Like

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