Instant Happiness : Hobbit Candles, Lanterns, and Lamps
“May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.”
No recipe for hobbit happiness is complete without ‘light’. When hobbits are asked what they most associate with happiness, 99.9 percent will mention food, followed by lanterns and candles. Lamplighters are a very honorable and sought after profession among hobbits. There is no faster way to get some happiness than to light a few candles, or as the hobbits call them, ‘happy lights’. Hobbits are, without doubts, creatures of comfort, although we do not live in great mansions or palaces. Our cozy homes, built as they are into the side of hill, are cheery wood-paneled snugs with small fireplaces, well-stocked pantries, featherbeds, pretty gardens, and of course a great number of lanterns and candles.
It is often true that if a hobbit finds himself on some kind of strange and uncomfortable adventure -- he will wish to be back in the Shire, in his dear home, sitting by the fireplace, with a shining lamp on the table. To the adventurous hobbit this is the height of comfort. Warmth. Light. Peace. Good Food, and a soft featherbed with clean sheets and a woolen blanket. Sometime the only way to appreciate our own home and the simple happiness it has to offer is to be away from it for a while.
In the cozy home of a hobbit, the bathroom takes center stage. This is often a small room, with bright colored tiles on the floor, a round window overlooking the garden, and a big bathtub in front of a fireplace surrounded by a number of candles and small lanterns. Bath time is a very important ritual in a hobbit’s day-- there are some that claim hobbits wash only occasionally, this is another myth I want to dispel -- hobbits love hot water and soap.
A candle is more than a simple source of light, for hobbits represent safety, warmth and hope, and a reminder of the heart’s capacity to overcome darkness, with a promise of brighter days to come. Even in darkness, love can triumph and we can always find light, life and hope. If you walk in the Shire at night you will see the cheery yellow glow of firelight and candles emerge from hobbits homes. The house is just a structure -- it’s what’s inside that matters: a lover, or perhaps a loving family, maybe children, waiting for you to join them for the evening meal. The light will guide every hobbit back to where they belong and where their heart is.
So for as long as there are hobbits, light will endure. Here is a lesson to be learned by all, short and tall folk: among tales of sorrow that come to us from the darkness of these days, there is bright joy hiding under the shadow in the form of a hobbit lantern or a candle. In the night, the Shire is surrounded by darkness, yet enfolded in light.
Photo taken by me in Hobbiton, New Zealand - edited and painted in Photoshop