“In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light….”
– Robert Lewis Stevenson, A child’s Garden of Verses
These early October mornings when I awake, I love to linger in the gloved hand of darkness. So I play a quiet little game with the universe to prolong and savor this nether time between night and day. There’s only one rule. I can’t turn on an electric light.
First thing, a single candle beside my bed provides ample light for a gentle and fragrant wake-up message. Today, ‘Bois de Coton’ (Cottonwood) by Parfums d’Orsey coaxed me along my way in enveloping notes of musc, cedarwood, and white linen.
In the bathroom I lit ‘Vetiver’, a Diptyque candle blending tonic masculine and feminine notes of vetiver, juniper, and cedar wood, along with comforting memories of my father’s shaving rituals, even as it reminded me that all new beginnings require good-byes.
In the kitchen, the cheery glow from Heeley’s “English Garden Mint” candle roused my appetite with notes of crisp green herbal gardens, tea, and dreams of lingering Sunday breakfasts…for another day.
It was already the time to meditate and plan my day, so I quickly climbed the stairs to my office where the light from the window, though pale, was now rosy. Lighting a large and generously proportioned, three-candle Rive Sud Interior bougie, ‘Via Della Basilica’, I instantly found energy and inspiration to thoughtful action in the archetypal message coming from its flickering shadows, the considerable mass of its glow, and its scents of incense and myrrh: “ The day ahead is sacred.”