In this fast paced, artificial, and often superficial world, one thing I try to do is follow the rhythms of nature as often as I can. The regular ebb and flow of day and night...... the ritual and routine of natural cycles. This connection to nature makes me feel calmer, more at peace, and just plain happier.
During the day, I love natural light to flow into my home. Its glorious, joyful, and energizing effect is so much better than that of artificial light.
The air feels different.
It makes me feel different..... more alive.
At night, I love the glowing pools of light my lamps give off. They create cozy havens, soft on the eye, soothing to the soul, replenishing to the spirit. Having harsh overhead lights on at night time stresses me out and tires me before my bed time! It drains and depletes me..... disconnects me from my 'rhythm'. It's not supposed to be 'bright as day' when it's night!
In her book Sensual Home Ilse Crawford beautifully sums up the effect of light on us....
'Light is probably the single most important area to address when it comes to making a home that feels right, and will make the quickest and most dramatic difference. If you want a stimulating environment you need variation, texture and shadows.'She goes on to talk about natural light and the importance of shadows...
'Rely as little as possible on artificial light and make the most of natural light. Without it we feel depressed. Maximize the daylight you have, particularly in the winter months.
....We don't just need daylight - we need a degree of dimness too. The electric bulb has done away with total darkness. Many things, including us, look more beautiful coming out of darkness. And we need shadows for intimacy and thought. Bright light paralyses the imagination. To think and feel clearly we need to switch off our constantly roving eyes and allow our minds to wander instead. Deep shadows and darkness are essential because they dim the dominance of vision.'
Of candles she says...
When gaslight and electricity arrived they increased lighting levels twentyfold, eradicating shadow forever. Candles are our allies, bringing magical light into darkness. They have a remarkable effect on a room, by day or night, creating ever shifting patterns of light and shadow. Famously flattering, they mix well with modern lighting especially when this is dimmed, and have a hypnotic, soothing quality that encourages us to rest and meditate.I have many, many candles at my place, and light them when I feel the need to rejuvenate, soothe, nurture, and spoil myself!
To unwind gently from a long day, to enjoy a book in my comfy chair bathed in the mellow glow, to share a meal by candlelight, these are the small yet simple pleasures that bring joy.
The candles I use are made from pure beeswax only, and produce the beautiful yellow flame only these candles can. They're also kind to the environment and your health, unlike many common candles.
Ask yourself: 'Am I making the most of natural light within my home?'
Which leads to: 'Am I also allowing for moments of dimness and shadow? Am I nurturing not only my visual needs but my mind as well?'
Because: To once again quote Ilse Crawford.... Light 'tends to be the last thing people think about when it comes to their homes', yet its effect is profound.
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