There are plenty of opportunities for melancholy to creep in during the holidays. This has been especially true over the past couple of weeks. Neighborhoods on fire. Shootings in and around shopping malls. And all this playing out in front of the backdrop of COVID-19. Festivities were, in a word, muted. Friends and family were absent in many cases, and we had to content ourselves once again with the safety of our bubbles.
Outside, the decorations that have adorned our lawn for all those years were put in place to be turned on the day after Thanksgiving. And there they stayed, bringing a welcome dose of sameness to a street that needed some. Each night when the sun went down, the switch would be flipped and the ordinary spectacular would begin. Again. And Again. In the midst of all this weirdness and uncertainty, there was a bit of magic in our front yard.
Until New Years Day. While parades and football provided a bridge to some sort of consistency, I busied myself with the chore of unplugging all those plugs, reeling in all the extension cords, and freeing the limbs of the trees of all those wires and bulbs. At some point, I paused and looked around. All of that brilliance was being packed into a plastic tub, to be stored in the basement, to wait for the time when it would be retrieved and decanted again. Next year.
When it's time to drag all those lights to be spread out across the lawn, checked for missing bulbs, and eventually draped about the house and yard, what shape will the world be in? Will we still need more light? Certainly not less.