welcoming light

Back in the 90s, my parents lived in Stavanger, Norway for a couple of years.  They loved every minute of their time there:  my mother became close to fluent in Norwegian, my dad took up skiing -- not bad for two folks from the Caribbean.  And whenever they returned stateside, they always were full of stories of their Norwegian adventures.

Once, my mother told me something that has stuck with me:  she mentioned that in Norway, it was traditional to light a candle whenever someone came to visit.  She said it was generally done without fanfare:  you welcome your guests, and as you take their coats and get them beverages, you also make sure to light a candle, as well.

Now, I have no idea if this is true of all of Norway or simply the Norwegians who my parents knew (any Norwegian friends, can you let me know?), but I love this idea, and when I remember to, I try to do it myself.  It sort of reminds me of that Hindu greeting namaste, which is loosely defined as "the light within me honours the light within you."  Still, the candle-lighting feels like a more subtle expression of the same sentiment, even while it's more visible, at the same time.


Song:  Meikyu kumikyoku by Candle (featuring Meiso)