The Simple Green Candle

The box showed up on our doorstep a few days before Christmas. It was addressed to Mom and Dad so it wasn’t one of our Amazon boxes for the kids or grandkids, but I wasn’t sure which of our 3 daughters had sent it. I added the brown cardboard unwrapped shipping box with a UPS label to the pile of colorfully wrapped packages under the tree (but not before giving it a shake, analyzing the weight, and using those well honed Christmas skills to assess an unknown gift).

Our traditional Christmas Eve family gathering got rescheduled due to flu bugs running rampant in the Adams family household, but we all gathered a couple of days later for our traditional Christmas hors d’vours and gift exchange.

Ruby and Sawyer fell right into the excitement of the evening. The boxes under the tree, which had been tempting but taboo to explore for weeks, were now pulled out from under the branches and became fair game for excited toddlers. Names were read, packages delivered by Sawyer to their intended recipient, bows removed (and stuck on Ruby, to her gleeful delight, or one of the dogs who seemed less amused). Ripped off wrapping paper was balled up and tossed to Megan to stick in the large green garbage bag. The kids had specific requests in their letters to Santa helping all his elves deliver a sleighfull of surprises that brought huge smiles, sparkling eyes full of wonderment, and shrieks of joy! The adults, too, smiled at the thoughtfulness of wishes remembered.

Even though it was addressed to Mom and Dad it must have been my turn because the brown cardboard unwrapped shipping box with a UPS label, of slight rattle and relative weight, landed on my lap to open. I took out my pen knife to slit the packing tape and opened the box. The smell of the North Woods filled my nose. Inside was a card from Emily and Karlin and a simple dark green Douglas Fur scented candle which easily correlated with the weight and rattle in the unopened box. From that first moment this gift gave me pause – it was so simple. It reminded me of the Little Drummer Boy who only had the gift of his song – rump pum pum, pum. So sweet. I knew immediately I’d use it during dinners with mom (TV off), my daily morning devotions and yoga, and when I sit down with my trusty legal pad to write. Lighting this Simple Green Candle would bring close those fun memories of our summer visits to Emily’s family in the Teton Valley and our drives up through the forest to Targhee.

I placed it gently back into the box, for the trip home, with a knowing smile of the hours ahead that I’d be sharing with that Simple Green Candle as it spreads its soft dancing light across my blank page and sets my mind to wandering.


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