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Candle in the Window

Candles are the most evocative things in the world, the closest thing to life in the sphere of the inanimate.

When I was a child, the old people used to light a candle on the eve of All Souls, in remembrance of those who had gone before, and I’d like to try and revive that tradition.   It doesn’t have to be religious.  The tradition is ancient, long pre-dating Christianity, and it’s something we need to bring back, because we are a people who have forgotten their dead.

If we are to heal our society, we must recover our lost traditions, and regain a respect for things that are not simply material.

That’s why, tonight, I’m putting a candle in the window.

It isn’t for the dead.  It’s for me, for those who pass my door, and for those I hold dear, because the continuity of life is all we have, and in this small way we can keep our departed friends uppermost in our hearts.

If we can do this for one night, maybe we can begin to make it part of what we are, as it once was, before we lost our way.

7 replies on “Candle in the Window”

That’s a nice tradition Bock. I was vaguely aware of it. We have lost our way. We have forgotten what’s important – Not money, not status, not stuff, not what you know, not appearances. Possessions can’t define you. Maybe something good will come of this mess we’re in. Maybe we’ll get back to what’s important.

Here’s a song for your friend.

What a wonderful thought!
I didn’t know that there is a tradition like that in Ireland. And I’m pleased and touched about your lovely piece. Thank you.

I always have a candle on on this night, to remember my late parents who delivered me to the world that very same night many moons ago, to remember the ghosts of the past who might come to haunt the world for the injustice they suffered, and to show that my candle is still burning, despite everything. And as a private promise to all those who had a shitty life that I’m not giving up and not giving in. It’s the night of revenge or at least the night to plot one. And you’ll get the help of the ghosts that very night, if you listen to them. It’s the night to learn.
And no, I’m not religious. But spirituality has nothing to do with organised religion.

The Mexicans have their Dìa de los Muertos on Allsouls Day . They go to the graves of their loved ones with wine, tequila, food and music and celebrate life. It’s a nice tradition but more to mollify the dead not to take on the candle and go on fighting.

Keep on fighting, Bock. The dead deserve it and more so the living.

When my kids were younger I used to tell them their Grandad, my Father, was a star in the sky looking after them. They could identify the exact star and even though he died before the birthing stopped sons, nieces and nephews could all see that star. It’s important to remember the dead, they remind the living of who they are.

Something I like to do myself, not just on all souls days, but at christmas, anniversary’s and birthdays, not because of faith in religon, I have none. I do it because it’s a nice way to remember those who are gone on days that mattered to them, those that matter live on in our hearts and memories, and help make us what we are.

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