.: Hands filled with the raw materials that will be turned into beeswax ornaments :.
On this day we head outdoors once again while the leaves are at our feet and the trees are bare above sharing with us that winter will be here soon. Today we celebrate the bees and are inspired by this season of giving thanks. There is much warmth, beauty and family togetherness to be found in this new month.
Warmth, beauty and family unity are held very close to my heart. When the last days of fall turn our focus indoors, and the moon calls us to bed a bit earlier each night, we hope to grace our table at mealtime with the gentle nurturing glow of handcrafted beeswax candles and ornaments.
.: A thermometer ensures that the beeswax does not overheat during the melting stage :.
The children gathered some wood and laid it in place for preparations of a campfire. It's glowing embers would be just the fuel needed to set our candle-making pot upon.
We filled a large canning bath with water to create a double boiler. Honey-colored beeswax was then set out before the children to add to our smaller pitcher that would soon be set inside the water bath. The embers of the fire flickered and glowed as a thick bed of hot coals was prepared for melting down the large golden wax blocks. We then set in our smaller pitcher that was holding our pure beeswax, liquid gold slowly and steadily starting pooling in our pitcher until it was time to pour into resin molds.
Very soon the sweet aroma of honey mingled with the comforting smell of the wood smoke, coaxing from the flames of the campfire this rich and memorable incense into our noses on this special day.
.: We all worked together gathering wood for the fire that will melt the beeswax into liquid gold :.
We had now begun the process of making our traditional tapered beeswax candles for the Winter season ahead. These candles are to play important roles in the rhythm of our days ahead, whether as beacons to guide us on our lantern walk, illuminating the Thanksgiving table, or as a cherished focal point once more during the mindfulness of the Advent season. Experiencing this simple process of candle-making together as a family has taught us the importance of patience, intentionality, and consistency.
A new addition to our tradition this year was the crafting of special warm honey-colored, incredibly sweet smelling beeswax ornaments. Some of them will hang in the windowpanes, catching the morning sun and expressing a naturally sweet honey essence into the air.
.: We used hemp cordage to ensure our materials were all natural, making for a very strong cord on our ornaments :.
It is within processes such as these that we discover such rich meaning and life lessons.
Today really began with the bees who diligently finished their work, and then to the beekeeper who also did her work. It brought us a deeper appreciation to know the provenance of our materials. This awareness imbued the task with a more sacred context when we understood the privilege of working with such a pure and natural medium as golden beeswax.
.: A few of the ornaments we made on this day. Many will hang from our Christmas tree while others will hang in our windows scenting our days with the sweet smell of honey :.
.: A favorite ornament of mine, a golden sunflower reminding me of the gardens in Summer :.
I appreciate that my children are gaining a first hand knowledge of what it takes to gather this precious medium and to see what is really involved--even within the simple act of lighting a candle.