Monday, May 5, 2008



When I was a child, candles formed a part of our daily lives. We lived on a smallholding with no Electricity for the first 6 years of my life, so we used candles and oil lamps for lighting. Now, with the power cuts we are experiencing in South Africa, many people have to revert to candle power once again. Many people don't have gas or oil lamps and cannot afford to buy them.

I, however, love the mystique and romance that candle light brings. There are two ways of interpreting images by candle light. One could see the eerie and sinister shadows as "monsters", or you could consider the power of that single candle being able to create a new world with extra objects that disappear as soon as you blow out the candle. The shadows on the wall, and the reflection on the table are all gone when the flame is gone! One candle has that much power...

The warm glow of candle light on the face of a child brings such soft tones instead of the harsh brightness that the electric globe gives us. It emphasizes the innocence... On a cold winter's night the warmth encompasses us and is comforting and peaceful.

People are very quick to complain about not having "Electric Power", but the lack of it forces us to become quiet and reflect on our lives... No TV, Radio, or Computers... In this rushed life where we don't have the time to relax and have a good look at the life we are living - always chasing after something - never in one place long enough to appreciate life itself. Most people don't live their lives....they are too busy trying to control it to actually live it and enjoy it!!

Come on!! I dare you to switch off all the lights, and light a few candles. Sit and relax while you watch the shadows, forever in motion in the light of the flame that flickers at the slightest breeze. How fragile is that flame, and yet, it clings to the wick like someone clinging to the rock face of a mountain after falling over the edge. It is not that easy to blow out the flame... you need to really blow hard... and even after the flame is gone, for a few seconds you can still see the glow on the wick, as if reluctant to really let go.

I would love to be like a candle in other people's lives, bringing them warmth and softness - a vision of warmth instead of the cold reality of a life of chasing after rainbows.