Friday, December 22, 2006


Most folks are as happy as they want to be.
-Abraham Lincoln

The lights surprised me.

I actually did a double-take to make sure I was seeing what I thought I saw. After all, it could have been a reflection, of traffic lights, or some of the commercial lights that were still lit in this dingy part of town.

Actually, to call it dingy was being a bit hopeful. This part of town aspires to dinginess. It was downright decrepit. This dirty, old, red brick building was not some reclaimed uptown loft. It was a low-rent building where people with few options lived.

But there, above the cracked, decaying, and litter-strewn parking lot, was a solid-looking door. The kind of door one uses when security is a far higher priority than aesthetics. On the rusted wrought iron railing in front of it were Christmas lights. And not just a strand of Dollar Store lights slapped on, either. These were carefully strung, with an illuminated star wired securely underneath. The lights were distorted and reflected by the silvery tinsel that was carefully wrapped along the railing with the lights. It was more than bright. It was--tasteful.

And in the window, the cracked, dirty window, showed the unmistakeable shape and colors of a lit Christmas tree. In this place, this hopeless place, were people who, despite their circumstances, were still celebrating the season.

For the past few days I've been grouchier, angrier, and more depressed than I usually am at this time of year, for various reasons:
  • STBEW came over and used my kitchen and appliances to make cookies, and left my kitchen a mess.
  • I screwed up my checkbook, and now I'm $50 overdrawn on my account, and payday's not until Thursday.
  • The lock on the back door of my van is broken, so my kids have to climb in and out via the drivers' side door.
  • And I'm just plain lonely. I love my kids, but I wish I had someone else in my life
All of that, and more, colored my mood dark. Until I drove past that building.

There will always be problems. It's just the way life is. But regardless of how bad you think your life is, there are always things for which you can be grateful. I'm grateful I saw the lights.

Merry Christmas everyone.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

And a very Merry Christmas to you and your family, BP - May you always see the light. . . .

9:10 AM  
Blogger Madame X said...

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.

Mahatma Gandhi

Merry Christmas.

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is something beautiful about this time of year when the days are their darkest and the gloom chills us all. We need to make our own happiness, even with a simple strand of lights. Thinking of you and yours. Happy holidays.

1:16 PM  
Blogger Rowena said...

You are right BP. I am trying to remember this also.

Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones and thanks for all your support this year. x

10:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas BP!

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you brought tears to my eyes with this one.

isn't it nice when something so simple turns you completely around?

8:24 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home