Fragrant Quote for December 12th, 2012-Bayberry Tapers by Cornelia Meigs



"La Sonámbula" by Juan Correa
It was just then the season for candle making, the task that Margeret loved above all others of the year. Beyond Master Simon’s garden was a stretch of waste land reaching down to the water’s edge, where grew in a thick tangle, the dark bayberry bushes that so many of the Puritans had thought best to root out of their fields. Master Simon, however, had kept his and had found that from their abundant fruit could be made the green, sweet smelling tapers that were of such service through the long winter. Tallow was still scarce in the little Colony, and wax candles brought from England far too costly, so this was a brave discovery indeed. Every autumn when the first tang of frost was in the air, all the children of Hopewell gathered to pick Master Simon’s bayberries and a merry task they made of it. Then, for days after, would come the sorting of the fruit, the boiling and skimming and the dipping of the wicks. Slowly the candles would take shape until the moment that was to Margeret a breathlessly exciting one when the first pair were placed in the copper candlesticks on the mantel and were lighted to see if all had been properly done and the tapers burned clear, steady and fragrant as they should.