THE BEACON OF OUR PAST
My room is dark. Until I light the candle.
The flame of the smokeless candle is magical.
I think if you see what my eyes see, you feel what my heart feels.
I think that is because we are taken back to a time thousands of years ago.
A time, we are familiar with.
The flame melts the wax, which softens like white molten lava puddling to escape eventually, and it does.
Given time, the wax will overflow and create a fascinating layered wax-scape which fascinates my imagination.
I can sit for hours in its comforting glow. At night, the candle flame will lull me to sleep. The glass container is large and deep and away from any obstructions much like a lonely lighthouse casting its beacon across the salt-laden sea.
I can drift in time forever…
How I miss our time together. Thousands of years ago. Thousands of lives ago. We rekindle, each time the candle wick is lit, and it’s warm light caresses my memories.
The layered patterns of wax is as magical as the warmth of the glowing, flickering flame.
The flame inside the clear, tall glass enclosure is nearly oblivious to the drifting air seeping into my room. Gazing deeply, it takes on a life its own, as if the clear glass enclosure is its own life supporting terrarium of ancient prehistoric life captured within.
The more I gaze at this magical essence, the more my mind drifts back in time, somewhere in time, somewhere many life times ago. It is as if the flame rekindles my love for it and for you.
My reunion with candle light is provocative. The candle resurrects its own life of memories and mine. Its intimacy with my senses is as timeless as time itself. It is so familiar and yet always new.
And without a doubt, I regret to say, the more I try to remember the memories, the more I forget.
Who invented this amazing wax candle?
It is hard to say because of the inconsistent nature of recorded history, but by some accounts the candle was made by the Romans beginning in 500 BC. These were dipped candles made from tallow wax which is derived from the meat of cows and sheep. Lit by an unwound strand of twine. While candles were present in Roman times, the main source of light came from oil lamps.
Evidence of candles made from whale fat in China dates back to the Qin Dynasty about 221-206 BC. And in India, temple candles were made from boiling cinnamon.
By further accounts, the ancient Egyptians used rush lights or torches made by soaking the pithy core of reeds in melted animal fat. However, rush lights by design had no wick like a true candle.
The early origins of candles have been used as a source of light, and to illuminate celebrations for more than 5,000 years and I would presume the flames was a source of worship or ritual and admiration.
“Fire history” is the ecological science of the study of the history of wildfires, which is a sub-discipline of fire ecology. Patterns of forest fires in historical and prehistorical time provide information relevant to the pattern of vegetation of fire ecology.
From the study of fire-myths and the cultures of primitive races, it is usually presumed that fire was first obtained from natural sources as volcanoes, bush fires, lightning, sparks struck from stones, or by dry branches rubbing together in the fierce winds.
I think there is more. Such wonderment attests to the essence of humanity. As it is, when we look up into the night sky and gaze into the sparkling glimmer of stars and planets in our Universe, we are seeing the wonder of our Universe as seen through the eyes of primitive human kind and I venture, animal kind.
And somewhere along the line of history, the flickering flame of the candle tells the same tales of romance for as long as our own ability to feel and understand love. The humble candle light in its quiet presence, weeps of lost love, wisdom, tragic invasion, destruction and death, and endless hope.
The flame of the candle is hypnotic. Its flickering glare compels a deeper awareness, a deeper wanting to rekindle the memories of my mind from a thousand years ago. Then as it is now, in quiet. Peace. Comfort.