10.20.15 It’s that time of year again. Yesterday, it felt like this brilliant Fall season is coming to a close as we move ever closer to November skies. There is still lots of gold and red clinging to trees and bushes, but there was light rain much of the day, and the pavement was covered in wet leaves, and the clouds hung gray and low over the valley. It’s still warm–I spotted a little Johnny-Jump-Up in the moss-filled seams between the rocks on the terrace.
But, it is getting dark. I am lighting candles now early in the evening and early in the morning. Twenty years ago, I discovered that the brand of candles I love so much, on my dining room table, are made by a company in Medina, Ohio–a suburb of Cleveland, where I lived when I was in sixth grade. A family owned company, they have been making candles since 1869, and are one of the largest makers of beeswax liturgical candles. I’ve been ordering directly from Roots ever since, and couldn’t help myself from including a note on my first order, “I used to live in Medina!” (There was no special discount afforded me with this declaration.)
Walking through some rustling leaves yesterday afternoon, I flashed on a memory from that sixth grade year in Ohio. It was a dark and stormy Autumn night, after cheerleading practice, and I got into a fight in the girl’s bathroom–there was pushing and shoving–and I think I pushed her head against the hard bathroom stall door. Fleeing the potential murder scene, I ran home in the blustery wind and rain, through wet and slippery leaves, and a night more dark than Halloween, crying the whole way. I can still feel that dreadful guilt and fear, deep in the pit of my stomach, all these many years later. I like to think that my Mom was like the Mother in the “A Christmas Story” movie, where she washes Ralphie’s tears with a warm wash cloth, and tells him to lie down in the evening darkness on his little twin bed. But, I don’t remember ever confessing, and I’m quite sure my victim must have showed up in school the next day. If there were consequences, I have erased them from the record.
Anyway, I have to admit that I took a tiny dot of solace this morning in knowing these are Church candles on my table! In Autumn, we need all the consolation we can find.