Sunday, March 27, 2011

Words by Candlelight

Actually Scrabble by candlelight. Recognising Earth Hour yesterday evening, my husband and myself lit a circle of candles in our family room, got out the Scrabble board and let the tiles create words. A writer and an editor with lives shaped by words we decided, in honour of the occasion, to have a friendly game so did not keep any scores.

I got off to a good start with ‘regret’, using all but one of my tiles. Later I made ‘ermine’ and ‘boodle’; finally after twice creating two words at once, ended up with just one tile – a C -  worth only one point if we had been playing for real.

We play by fairly strict standards, no slang, abbreviations, proper nouns or foreign words, etc. I have played with friends whose Scrabble dictionary allows many of these and sometimes I wonder about adopting a similar approach. It’s always good to keep a flexible, open mind.

No foreign words on the board,  but dinner was themed Indian. We had salad, spicy lentil dhal (homemade) and crispy papadums. We like the ‘Rabbit’ or Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad brand. This is an organization owned and run solely by women that produces large quantities of papadums on the open market. Papad is often associated with the empowerment of women in India. Many individual and organized businesses are run by women and produce papad, pickles, and other snacks. This provides them regular income from minimal financial investment.

Dessert was those lovely flaky Indian ‘cakes’; pistachio, cardamom flavoured Saon Papdi. We buy our Indian foods and spices from Blue Olive, an eastern restaurant and shop in Dieppe.

Time flew by without us noticing; it was almost 10 pm when we folded up the board. Proving that you do not need anything outside yourself to be entertained and challenged, to use your mind, and learn some new words. Once or twice checking the dictionary I found a word I could not use last night, but will keep tucked away for a future game.

There is something very tranquil and cozy about candlelight; being inside a circle of light but knowing the darkness is not scary or cause for worry. Rather it was like a comforting blanket, velvety and soft.

It made me think we should do this regularly, more often. Not only saving energy, allowing the earth to breathe more easily, but also slowing down ourselves and treasuring quiet times together.

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