I am celebrating Candletime this year, a made-up period between Halloween and Thanksgiving in which you light candles, dim your lights, and be cozy. I hope you will all be joining me. As we head towards the darkest night of the year, we could all do with a little bit more light.
For the first night of Candletime, I was not actually at home, but there were candles and fondue and good friends. It was cozy, even if there were not pajama pants. (Pajama pants are the essence of coziness just like moisture is the essence of wetness.) We have been lighting candles at dinner, and when I wrote about that a few weeks ago, my friend Katie pointed out a quote from Lauren Winner’s Mudhouse Sabbath: “You don’t find candles lit in frenetic houses; you find them lit in houses where people are trying to pay attention.”
Atticus demands attention, either because he wants us to play with him or because we need to make sure he’s not doing something like coloring on the wall. He gets us to pay attention, too, because the world is new to him. Sometimes I see him figure something out – how to blow out a candle, what trick-or-treating actually means, how to catch a ball – and I am overcome by what an honor it is to watch him learn.
This week has been fun and hectic, but what has saved my life is the quiet calm of being mindful. We are lighting candles and we are learning and we are trying to pay attention. What is saving your life this week?