Life by candlelight

 

 

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Candlelight has long been a treasured companion of mine. To behold a tiny twinkling flame in the darkness is to draw comfort and hope from light in its purest and most simple form.

As a child visiting my Grandparents in the thick of the Swedish winter, I was mesmerised by the tiny flames flickering in my Grandmother’s windows. The world outside, dark and silent. Hushed by a heavy blanket of soft white snow.

The winters in Sweden are long and dark. Lighting a candle brings warmth and hope into the home. It brings balance and a sense of peace, restoring the soul.

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Whether dusk or dawn, candlelight can change your energy. It can help you to rejoice or to rehabilitate. When the mood is right, it can give you the freedom to think or the focus to act.

On a rainy summer’s afternoon I tend to light a tapered candle or two whilst I busy myself with tasks around the house. When on my own, it helps me to pause for thought. To sit and reflect. To contemplate.

With friends and family, I light candles to create a sense of togetherness and intimacy. The soft glow enveloping us as we enjoy each other’s company.

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The ritual of lighting a candle never fails to lift my spirits. As I strike the match, I find myself fully immersed in the moment. I savour the slow glow of the tiny flame. I watch as it gently caresses the wick of the candle, flickering timidly and hesitantly.

I will it on.

As the candle lights, the flame is suddenly transformed. Bold and insistent, it joins me in the room. Triumphant. Alive.

I close the matchbox and step away. The flame dances. There are two of us now. And I am no longer alone.

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During my childhood, my parents often hosted dinner parties and the rooms in our house would sparkle with candlelight. My Mother taking on a magical quality. Happy and radiant. My sisters and I playing downstairs in our nightdresses, until bedtime called. Later I would fall asleep to the comforting sounds of murmured conversations and laughter, floating up the stairs.

Thirty years on I have my own home and my own candles to light. As I sit down to supper with friends and family, drinks are poured and stories are shared. We are thankful for each other. And I am thankful too. Thankful that my home is alive with love and laughter. And candlelight.


All picture credits @liljeholmens_stearinfabriks_ab instagram
liljeholmens.se
{click here}

 

LET THERE BE LIGHT

The Scandinavian design shop Skandium {click here} sells a range of beautifully designed candle holders and oil lamps, including the Skultuna1607 brass candle holders which are designed by Richard Hutten and have brought me endless joy in my own home {click here}.

In my family we all buy our candles from the Swedish candle manufacturer Liljeholmens. The company holds the Swedish Royal Warrant and is rumoured to be the best in the world! They have a 150 year history of making candles from stearin, which is made from a vegetable base and produces a clean and slow-burning candle. Here in the UK I tend to buy my Liljeholmens candles from Clas Ohlson {click here}.

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