Good Lighting

Our cottage in Maine is not so much appointed with furniture as it is with light.  The sunrise paints great blocks of yellow rectangles and sunset’s final kiss leaves a rosy blush at the end of the day, which is generally when I ask Paul to take my picture.  The light is gentler then and as the years progress, I have begun to appreciate good lighting.

If there is anyone else who appreciates good lighting, it is our utility company.  Paul has completed no end of “lighting projects”.  Seems there isn’t a spot that could not benefit from a little more illumination; the space above and below the kitchen cabinets, the area behind the TV, the wall above the sofa and even the margin below our bed.  Dark corners don’t stand a chance in our home. When I say that Paul lights up my life, I mean it quite literally.
On a recent cool September evening as we sat by the communal fire pit, our neighbor Michelle leaned back in her Adirondack chair, warmed from the fire as much as from a glass of wine and mused out loud, “We just love looking up at your cottage; it always has such a nice glow with all of those open windows.”  She paused and smiled while gazing into the fire and then added, “By the way, where did you get that dresser in your bedroom?”
The heat in my face was less from the fire and more from the blood rushing to it as I mentally rewound the tape from past nights’ bedroom activities, damn Paul and all of his lighting. But I understood what she was saying.  There is a comfort in a lamp’s glow or a flickering television when viewed from the outside on a dark night.
It says that there is life here.  Someone you love has left a light on for you.
As the fire danced and the children screamed and squealed while chasing an unfortunate frog, I began to think of this past summer, of the shortening days and lengthening nights.  Soon enough the long days of summer would be memories and I was not so keen to let them go.
So I catalogued them in my mind: the marsh bisected by a river of silver in the early morning fog, the walk along the sandy trail while the crickets chirp in the beach roses under the fierce midday sun, the splintered sunlight, like millions of diamonds sparkling on a blue velvet ocean, the slanted light on Paul’s face when I meet him at the train station on a Friday evening. 
These are the little lights that I leave on for myself, to illuminate the dark corners of a cold winter’s night. 

This is good lighting.
 
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