Recently someone asked me about a daily ritual that I do for myself. My mind sifted through my go-to's: tea, rose water rinses, journaling... But no, I glanced up and noticed I had two candles burning and it was like a flickering light went off. Candles are my daily ritual.
Candles and I have a long and romantic history. My friends and family joke about my candle habit and my husband teases that it takes him 20 minutes to locate and blow out every candle I've lit. Something about candles bring me comfort. No matter the mood of the day, the state of the room I'm in, whatever is going on in my mind, the flicker of a little flame soothes something restless inside of me.
I love that many religions utilize candles to symbolize prayers. I've used them in this spiritual sense as well. If something is weighing on my mind, or the day was terrible, I'll light a candle for that and let the fire burn it away. There's something beautiful in little by little the wax disappearing, the smoke curving towards the ceiling, like something just happened. Like something really was just carried away into the void.
There have been times in my life I've felt so achingly alone that the life and vibration of fire on a wick made me feel less lonely. I wasn't alone. Here was a living, fiery reminder. And then there's certain oily fragrances I've burned that have accompanied some of my greatest and most joyful times. The smell of pink peonies and subtle smoke warming my freshly-cleaned kitchen while my little girls blow bubbles on the patio. Just inhaling that very cylinder of soy wax in the store aisle brings back that bliss of a memory.
Lighting long stemmed candles for the table when my husband and I were snowed in and made a fancy dinner in our sunroom, surrounded by frigid white snow and warm orange flame. Tea lights carefully dropped into little salt lamp containers to heal. A new scent lit in the evening in the expectation of company coming over, a prayer, an invitation, a celebration. The flick of a lighter is my little friend that I've carried with me through the years.
And almost like magic, in the midst of composing this post, I met a local candle maker and fellow female business hustler. I explored Opal and Wonder's shop, slash art studio, slash creative sanctuary and was completely smitten.
This week I have been burning their Jasmine Waxing Crescent Moon Essential Oil Soy Candle and hell if it isn't the best candle I've tried in recent memory (and trust me, I go through a LOT of candles.) The scent of jasmine is so calming, and this is purest smelling jasmine I've ever gotten from a candle. It's not chemically or overpowering. It's soothing and soft. It leaves the room smelling like a really lovely flapper girl from the 1920's just passed by.
In using this candle in my candle ritual, I set the intention of self-care, of noticing when my cup needs to be filled before it's empty, and with each flame flicker and waft of jasmine bundles it's reminded me of just that. That's another reason candles mean so much to me I guess, they're reminders, reminders that something is hot and powerful within my own self. A physical reminder and representation of strength and hope.
Candles are my ritual and they probably always will be. I'm positive my children will look back and remember mom pacing the candle aisle searching for just the right one. The right fire to fly away with whatever she needed it to take.
Such a simple thing that carries so much meaning.
What is your daily ritual? What does it mean to you? I'd love to hear about the little things that are meaningful to you.
As a Christmas gift, dear readers, Opal and Wonder has been kind enough to extend a discount code so you can experience their lovely candles for yourself. Use code DAILYRITUAL20 for 20% off until December 31st.