Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Lights of protection

Lights of protection encircle the night.
The day
The winter.


Outside my window, it is the building across from my apartment complex. Each balcony blazes, enhanced in its green glass cage. An excessive amount of streetlights surround the basketball court.
Under my door shines the one lamp that 24-hour maintenance never fail to replace.
The feeling of a hotel stay is created, minus the clamor, plus the rent.

I used to spend my summers in a place split in half by a large road. The road is named after its description, hence it is a major landmark.
The town is inhabited by a large number of comfortable families, but also those who wish to maintain its fairytale setting. Thus, years later, came the reluctance to install streetlights, complicating the situation for newcomers. These intruders simply wanted to share the great ocean view while simultaneously protecting their children from fall's darkness, and the sleepy porcupines from losing their lives on their way back into the forest.
Another target was the group of teenage girls walking home at night from movie nights.
Those who had gotten their bikes stolen during the summer and had never bothered to get a new one.
Those who were new to the place yet had spent every summer there.
They had never been part of the crowd;
they had been raised in the city.
And so they were the ones walking home alone, down the large road. The long road, separating the town without streetlights.

My grandmother had a glass lamp installed at the side of the house to guide visitors down an intended path.
Secretly she wanted to make sure that her daughters and granddaughters got home safely.
As soon as the glass lamp lit up the tiny strands of grass against the whitewashed house walls.
That is when she allowed sweet sleep to capture her mind to other dimensions.
She cared quickly, and did so with great effect.

Like lights are installed to warn us of intruders, to keep bugs distracted, or to guide trespassers of the night through the Sun's departure, they also exist to provide reassurance.
The lamp in the oven to create the cozy feeling of food being cooked.
Streetlights by every tree to enable safety amongst neighbors in the silent night.
Bright elevators in apartment complexes to improve the ambiance of the city.

Still I rest more safely when the light shines under my door. I find happiness in knowing I go to sleep as the day begins.
It never completely ends; its glare is merely overshadowed.
Never fully though, in the big city.
In the smallest of towns, it shows its presence through glass penetrating darkness.

And I witness it through windows and doors.

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