Irwin and I decided to spend Earth Hour in the country this year. We thought it would be a good opportunity to celebrate global renewal in a place that celebrates life everyday, in simpler, more basic way.
And simpler it is. Our house is located in a rural community, where cow crossings outnumber street crossings. Our single stoplight town is a twelve-minute drive down the mountain and has no drug store or cleaners. Our road is unpaved possessing neither streetlights nor sidewalks, and cell phone service is non-existent on our property.
While we celebrate the fact that we have indoor plumbing and electricity (most of the time), we have no internet access and put our cable television service on hold from January through May, requiring us to get in the car and drive over a mile and a half down the road in order to check our email or text messages. It doesn’t get much simpler than that for modernists like us.
That being said, celebrating Earth Hour in the country required very little powering down. In fact, just before 8:30 pm, when Earth Hour began, only two small lights were on in the house and Irwin & I were already seated in front of a roaring fire, in our otherwise unlit Great Room.
As Earth Hour approached, we powered down the house and lit a small candle in a chamberstick as well as pair of beautiful candles in our courting candlesticks for extra light. Yes, you read that correctly, courting candlesticks.
I had no idea that courting candlesticks even existed until last time we were in the country and used these candlesticks. I made a comment about the fact that these rustic candlesticks had a crank to adjust the candle up or down, and Irwin then explained that these were, in fact, courting candlesticks.
Courting candlesticks were used from the 1600’s through the 1800’s by the parents or guardians of proper young women to set an appropriate time limit for dates with their suitors. The candle would have been placed in the room where the young girl would have welcomed the young man. If a parent did not approve of a young man, he or she might be inclined to put out the candle immediately. If the suitor was well liked, the candle might be raised to the highest point to allow for a longer date. Who knew?
And so Earth Hour was spent, relaxing in front of the fire with courting candles for added light. While banding together with our global community is empowering and working towards a common goal of global sustainability is extremely important, we don’t need to wait for Earth Hour to arrive to “power down “ our lives. The benefits of getting back to basics on a regular basis are bountiful and a renewed appreciation for the many blessings we already have in our lives is paramount.
Earth Hour Came A-Courtin'