We have exterior illumination adorning our Wolfe Street porch! After almost 29 years of intending and hoping and one years, the time is finally here. It is a reminder that there are still tree of life moments in the midst of looming death.
I love your lights! I can see them from my kitchen window while doing the dishes, and it’s so cozy!
Our little girl loves walking past your house and looking at the Christmas lights.
The comments come from neighbors and bring my heart joy. I laugh that we have a slow turn-around time with our house projects and intentions and tell them that to think of us on the days when discouragement sets in that things will never change. I want them to think of and remembers us in ten years when the days are hard and hope for change feels far-off.
One day the light will come.
This is the year of another phase of extensive electrical work in our big old house. External outlets made the list. Every year during the post-Christmas review we say next year we will hang outdoor lights. Time passes, other things take precedence, and it remains dark.
Steve and Roo hung the Christmas lights.
We hold on to hope in dark places. This year we see and celebrate the playful, colored light in the midst of it.
It is the last day of 2020, and I sit in the early-morning hours in my parents’ living room. Though I am the local daughter, I am here for the week like my sisters from out-of-town.
We spend time doing daily life together, living with both parents like we did so many years ago in so many houses in so many cities in so many states. Our uncle visits bringing with him a rush of childhood memories.
My young self is so close, the one who hung a strand of colored lights around the window in her tiny room on Nicholson Street. She has much to tell me, and her big feelings come in waves, in sobs.
She is comforted by sisters, mother, father, uncle in ways that are new. She sits as part of the pack when she can and wanders off to far-away corners of the house when she can no longer. She laughs and cries and feels all of her feelings and is neither a sick cow nor crazy person.
She is a human .being with permission to feel all of the things and to talk about whatever she wants to talk about and to be quiet when there are no words to say.
I ride with my parents and uncle to the family dinner at my brother’s, the other local sibling. Sitting in the back seat of the Odyssey, I help Mom with her seat belt, and we ride side-by-side like sisters. One sits behind her dad, the other behind her brother.
We ride, admiring the twilight and clouds and full moon. We realize that we almost have made it through 2020 and then sit quietly, enjoying just being together.
On the way home, Dad suggests a drive to look at Christmas lights. Mom loves to look at lights and has been hoping to do so. She wants to see my house at night, but the timing has been off.
Tonight is on. Her brother is in the car with us, and it is fun to show him her town and neighborhood.
Dad knows exactly where he will drive, mostly, and turns left onto Dogwood. Mom and I hold hands in the back seat.
This is where we used to go for walks when I could go for walks.
Dad turns down streets and side streets and crosses over to my side of town so Mom can admire my porch. She loves it and tells me so. We continue the drive around my block and back home, noticing the different types and colors and scenes and winter wonderlands and just enjoying being together. That is the theme of our days and times.
Just being together.