Letter to the editor: Night lights a welcome sight

Driving home in the dark at 4:30 in the afternoon I treasure every scrap of light. Electric candles perched on windowsills, like the kernel of an idea dawning in the dark, flat glass. The porch drowning in icicle lights, fearsome in their regularity. Nets smothering bushes. The inflatable tethered in the lawn, 20 ultra-shielded extension cord feet from the house.

I love even more the little white lights swagging trees exactly as high as the ladder reaches. I love the new super-saturated LED lights that rewrite the season like the deep shocking red of a cardinal against drifts of white. I love the human hands that hang these lights and pay for the extra electricity. The generosity shines through the gloaming, drawing me on around the bends and over the hills.

I love the courage it takes to be imperfect, the off-kilter wreath and fallen toy soldier. It got dark and cold, you ran out of strings and used up all your replacement bulbs. That’s good enough, you decided, no one drives this way, no one really cares. But I do.

Everyone who has lit an extra light this winter has done so much more than good enough. You cared and you tried, and because of those things you have succeeded.

Thank you. I appreciate you. Your lights comfort me and keep me company through the dark evenings until I reach my own imperfect pink window. And if you ever want to talk; I’m the one weeping, tear-tracks flashing, as the SD Ireland cement truck slowly rolls by.

Trish Dougherty


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