This morning, I did yoga by candlelight, stretching my body forward and up against the glow of dancing flames. It was still dark outside when I finished, still dense with the pre-dawn silence, and I felt secretive, unseen.
It had been so satisfying to have just the warmth of the candles that I carried each one of them, still lit, to the shower. I let the uneven light guide me through the soaping and shampooing, through the rinsing and the toweling-off.
As I moved, I watched the way the shadows flickered and volleyed. I was, as always, captured by the sight of a fire, held hostage in its power and beauty.
I don’t remember the last time I took my shower by candlelight; it’s not a common thing. So often, I go through my mornings on autopilot, the tasks that need to be completed more important than how I get them done. That is, of course, how life goes: our daily obligations make up so much of what we do, perhaps of who we are.
That’s not bad, but this morning, I just wanted something more. Sometimes I struggle with the idea of living a scripted life, of following exactly the path that is in front of me. On those days, I have to remind myself that it’s not only the path I’ve chosen. It’s the path I created.
Still, for some reason today, I feel hollowed out by the pedestrian; I’m craving a bit of magic. Even writing that feels foolish, but the last word of that last sentence is so true that it caught my heart in my throat. I’ll let it stand.
The sun is fully up now, and it’s time to get going; it’s time to put on my shoes, find my keys, and walk outside. My house still smells like candles, and the memory of this morning lingers, as if tempting me – daring me – to find something incredible, something unexpected in the day ahead.
It is a vulnerable thing to admit, the desire for something enchanted and thrilling. Yet there it is, all the same, flickering in the shadows, coming into view, asking for the world.