Thursday, April 16, 2009

Blowing Out The Candles

Have you ever wondered why we make a wish and then blow out candles on our birthdays? I became curious about this ritual last Wednesday as David's amazing autism treatment team sang Happy Birthday to Kim. Kim is one of our creative, happy, fun loving volunteers whose face lights up a room from the moment she enters. Singing Happy Birthday and blowing out candles has become a monthly celebration during our team meetings as we have been blessed with a team that not only adds unique value to everything they do but also have birthdays spread evenly throughout the year.

What began as a simple celebration of the lives of people who mean the world to us quickly tickled me once again to explore my beliefs and cherish the world of autism.

So why exactly do we celebrate and blow out candles? As I googled a few key words, I was surprised to see so many different "historical references" related to blowing out birthday candles. I read about celebrations designed so that the noise would scare away evil spirits, making a wish to be granted by a Greek Goddess, and my personal favorite, allowing the smoke from the blown out candles to carry our wishes up to God to be granted. This one made me chuckle because all I have ever seen the smoke do is make my children sneeze and set off the smoke alarm. Now that I think about it, I am certain that the evil spirits were scared away that year.

Blowing out birthday candles has a very different meaning to me. It is a symbol of a simple gesture we do every year because it is simple to do, we have always done it, and it is fun! At least that is what I used to think.... Now, I believe we do it because it the one time each year it is socially acceptable to believe in miracles. How many of us have made a wish thinking it was a long shot but wishing for it none the less? Imagine if we lived our lives believing that it is up to us to grant our own wishes. Technically, the smoke from the blown out candles tickles our noses as it dances into our bodies. It carries our wishes into us, not up to God, so perhaps we were always meant to grant our own wishes. How many more wishes would come true if we began granting them ourselves?

Ironically, my last candle blowing wish was wishing that David would enjoy blowing out the candles on his next birthday cake. In David's world, the noisy celebration scares him away, Goddesses fly around his playroom in the form of bubbles, and smoke stimulates all his senses into a celebration of life. This year, his world and our world came together in a magical celebration that continues each month as he shares wishes with his amazing team, while blowing out the candles.

Grant yourself a wish today! Love, Kathy

1 comment:

  1. I like the stimulation. A totally different make on the usual notion attributed to 'blowing smoke' :)


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