I can light a candle,
God can light a star
Both are bright and wondrous
Shining where they are.
In our house we have started a mealtime tradition which we fondly call "lighting the candle of peace and quiet supper."
It's common in Waldorf tradition to light a candle at mealtime and to accompany the lighting with a small blessing of gratitude. When I first read about this tradition, it sounded lovely and quaint, but not something which fit the style of our regular family dinner table. For us, it was enough to sit down to a warm meal together with a minimum of fuss and bother (if you also have children, it's likely you know what I'm talking about here.) It's also a fact that the kitchen table, around which we sit for every meal, is the only table in the house. This table also serves as a desk for my older son's school work, an art table for my younger son, my work desk and my hand-work studio. Serving so many functions meant that there were always at least two stacks of books (and other assorted things) on the table at any given time: library books, cookbooks, craft books, picture books, newspaper clippings, art supplies, and sometimes even my laptop computer (eek.) But something had to change. The perpetual stacks of books on the table were an eyesore, and with my two children squawking noisily, competing for attention, mealtime was hardly a relaxing affair.
Imagining a candle on our table at suppertime... such a beautiful thing seemed out of place among the noise and clutter.
After we burned our way through the large pillar from my birthday, I bought a gift for our table -- this beautiful angel candle holder from Nova Naturals.
I'd be lying if I left you with the impression that our dinner table is now always peaceful and uncluttered. There are nights when my husband & I look downcast, informing the children that the candle must leave the table for a few minutes because there is too much noise (this works -- they do usually calm down a bit!) And I'm afraid I haven't held my commitment to keeping the table clear of books. There is, at this very moment, a stack of three books staring me in the face (a cookbook, a book about Calder's Circus and a beloved copy of The Hobbit), but truly, I'm doing better!
Do you have any dinnertime rituals which bring peace to your table? Also, I'm searching for a poem or song which we might recite or sing when we light our candle. I found one which you can see at the top of this post, however, I'm wondering whether you might know any others? Thanks!