Light One Candle

At choir practice tonight, we spent so much time on Christmas music, and on a special song we’re doing on the 20th for the first annual child dedication, that our director actually dismissed us early – or rather, she tried. She called us back almost immediately, because we’d forgotten to rehearse for this Sunday, when we’re actually doing a Hanukkah songs.

One of the songs we’re doing is a special favorite of mine: “Light One Candle.” It’s a Peter, Paul & Mary song, written by Peter himself, and it combines generic Hanukkah themes with social justice themes, thereby making it a perfect pick for a UU choir. I don’t even mind that we’re singing it “straight” instead of like the kicky folk song it really is, because I like the song so much.

The actual lyrics aside, I’m a fan of the song because it mentions candles, and I’m a big fan of the wick and the wax. I like the way candlelight softens the lines of any room so lit, and the lines of any face gazing into the flames. I like the way a single candle in a window can be a beacon of hope, or a sign of welcome.

Candles can be romantic, decorative, or simply functional. They illuminate dining tables, fireplace mantles and sumptuous baths. They can be scented, or smell simply of wax and smoke.

In all cases, however, candles make the mundane a bit more magical.

Take a moment sometime in the next few days, to put the holiday chaos aside. Light a candle, brew some tea, curl up in a comfortable chair near a crackling fire, and just let the flickering flame warm you, heart, soul, and mind.