As I was on my way to a ritual honoring our recently departed family, I was feeling a panic attack coming on. There were a few things I needed for the ritual and I was buying them at the nearest Wholefoods. I was down to the last item on the list a candle. I was looking at the few votive candles available they were different colors, and fragrances.
I was paralyzed trying to decide which one to get. What fragrance said “mom” to me? What color reminded me of her? Most of them were seasonal scents, pumpkin spice, or cinnamon. I lifted each and sniffed. While these are some of my favorite scents they didn’t feel right. Then I grabbed a white candle, with a “Pine” label. I don’t connect with Pine scents. Sometimes I burn them in winter, when I don’t have a real Christmas tree. I don’t buy them often. When I smelled this pine candle, this small white candle, I was transported back to the Christmas 1975. Mom brought home a incense burner in the shape of a snow covered cottage. When she lit the incense and closed the cottage pine scented smoke rose out of the chimney and filled the room with the smell of Christmas magic. I was enchanted. Even stronger than the memory of the fragrance or the little burner, was the memory of my mother’s smile in the warm lights of our home. And the warm feeling of a family still whole.
I found the right candle.