Friday, December 4, 2009


Christmas lights are up all over town now that December is upon us. Soon we'll be headed out to the soccer fields on the outskirts of town to drive through the city's big display. Our own tree is adding its miniature pyramid of color to the mix.

I get emotional about Christmas lights. Their pinpricks of brilliance on a cold, clear night move me deeply. Wherever they appear, it seems like someone has made an outpost against the cold and dark. It's a bulwark shared with everyone who happens by. And that makes it a gift -- not a protest, not a resistance, not even a private enclave, but a public statement that we are standing together against the cold and the dark. That we have confidence.

Tonight the moon was almost full, and it rose late, as we were driving home from a party. Over the lake it appeared huge, yellow, just a sliver short of a perfect circle, slightly hazy behind very high clouds. Combined with the sky full of stars and the lights encircling houses and forming pictures on lawns, in the biting cold, it seemed a resounding statement. Of what, I'm not quite sure. But I always feel it this time of year, full of mysterious meaning, pinpricks of light radiating out into the infinite lifelessness.

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