Light, stronger than all shadows
The winter solstice, which marks the beginning of the cold season, is the longest night of the year. It will take place on Friday 21 December at 23h22 and 44 seconds. It is high time to light the candles because "Dehors, il neige"And celebrate the victory of light on the shadow. Fiction around a Louis Vuitton candle. - Isabelle Cerboneschi. Model: Samuele. Photos: Buonomo & Cometti.
We are no other than a moving row
Of Magic Shadow-shapes that come and go
Round with the Sun-illumined Lantern held
In Midnight by the Master of the Show;
- The Rubayat, Omar Khayyâm
Tonight is the winter solstice, the longest night of the year. I love this moment, this passage. It reminds me of my childhood, when my mother was still in this world and I was a little boy who believed that life was a long series of happy times. She had taken from her native Iran her singing accent, the poems of Rûmî, de Hafez and those ofOmar Khayyâm. His holidays too. Yaldâ is by far the happiest. It is a celebration of victory: that of light on the shadow, that of Madame Soleil on Monsieur Lune. In the Persian language, the moon is masculine, the sun is feminine and Yalda means "birth of the sun ".
It was the only night we were allowed to stay awake as late as possible, my sister and me. Our mother asked us to offer a portion of the flame of our heart to Lady Sun so that she could regain strength and repel darkness. And we did it, because we grew up in that belief, convinced that our flame, as young, as small as it is, had a role to play.
That evening, to give us strength, our mother prepared a soup of thick vegetables and plates of dried fruits, as well as red fruits to give us energy, grenades especially, cut in quarter. There was red wine for the adults, fruit juice for my sister and me, our parents read us poems, we lit candles and it was to never let the flame go out: no question of leaving the shadow take over. When we had managed to pass midnight and we were falling asleep, our mother asked us to stay awake a little, a little bit, to help Lady Sun. And at dawn, when it appeared, we knew we had not kept watch in vain.
Tonight, we celebrate Yalda in the family cottage, in the mountains. Since our mother is gone, my sister has continued the tradition. It is beautiful a tradition. It reminds us where we come from, our roots. My nephews and nieces took our place around the table, their eyes full of sleep, but convinced as we once were of the importance of their gift. There is nothing more beautiful than a child who believes in their own magic.
The fire crackles in the fireplace. I like this smell of burning wood that clings to the hair. Outside, the snow has completely covered the path that leads to the cottage. It has the ability to mitigate everything, snow: noise, footsteps and a bit of the past. It is a blank page on which to leave new traces of oneself.
I brought in my luggage a candle discovered at Louis Vuitton. I did not know they were selling candles too. This is the name that seduced me first: " Dehors, il neige ". Then there was the smell: scents of gingerbread mingling with those of fir trees, incense notes that come up against other, cooler, more metallic ones, that remind me of the taste of snow. The one I liked to taste on the edge of my lips, when the flakes came to settle there.
In this December 21, at 23h30, just at the time of the winter solstice, I lit the wick of the candle. Then I turned my gaze to the window mechanically: whirlwinds of flakes offered us the picture of a slow dance. "It's snowing outside," I said suddenly. My nephews shouted for joy and went out without their anorak. They stretched their faces towards the immaculate sky where Monsieur Lune was very discreet. I saw them pull out the tongue to collect some snowflakes. The flame of their heart rose straight to the sky. Tomorrow, for sure, Lady Sun will win the world of shadows.
NB: ALL-I-C take a vacation. The whole team wishes you a bright holiday season and looks forward to seeing you again on 7 January 2019.