To be honest, I’m not a candle guy. From time to time, people have gifted me candles. They go into a cabinet where they somehow still manage to collect dust. I take them out only when the power goes out. When they’ve outgrown the space that I’ve set aside, I give them to a candle person.

So when the Club gave me a candle to take home and write about, I didn’t know what to do. It smelled really good even before I lit it - like freshly cut pine mixed with shredded ginger. 

I lit the candle, and before I accidentally singed my nose hairs, I could detect a light citrusy aroma, but not like oranges, more like green walnuts being squeezed underfoot and something like cedar too - very light in the mix. It wasn’t aggressively manly or too floral either. I thought I could maybe just focus on the aroma and pick that apart, but I am not a sommelier of candles.

I tried to break the ice with the candle and said, “what up candle? You smell nice today.” But the candle was stubborn and refused to answer. I wasn’t really getting anywhere with this obstinate candle. I had other things to do too, so I left the burning candle in the middle of the room, grabbed my keys, and told it to “be good, don’t burn the house down.”

I wasn’t gone long, but when I returned the house felt different, more inviting. The autonomous flame on the candle’s wick was swaying sinuously and had been communicating with my home in its own way.

I began to understand. Lighting a candle is a conscious and tasteful decision that decorates the air of the space I live in; it’s a fine detail that points out an awareness to a thoughtful atmosphere; it’s the continuation of my education of mastering my world by appreciating nuance with another one of my senses alert and content.

You break the ice with a candle by allowing it to slowly melt the frost away.

But even if it’s just a candle, it smells really good and I’m keeping it. You’ll have to get your own.