Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Let There Be Light

By Deb Baker/Hannah Reed

The days are shortening now, and on Sunday, here in Wisconsin, the time will change. Day light saving time. We’ll have a few more minutes of light in the morning. But by 4:30 in the afternoon, we will turn on our headlights if we are heading home from work, or if we work in our homes, we will flip the light switches.  4:30! Sigh. Darkness will descend.

Dark ages. Dark side of humanity. Dark moments, dark days, and dark shadows. It was a dark and stormy night. Well, we know where that story is going. We equate darkness with blindness, with evil, with death.

So is it any wonder that, as the days shorten, we have a serious sense of foreboding? Is it surprising that some of us experience SAD, apt acronym for Seasonal Affective Disorder? I don’t know about you, but I love the light. My favorite time of day is just before dawn, waiting at the window with a cup of coffee, to greet the sun. Not only will the days grow shorter, the sun has changed its trajectory, hanging low rather than overhead. Most days, clouds will obscure the early sunset.

And I've had another problem. I can’t help turning off lights. If I’m not in the room, off it goes. If I am in the room, I only allow myself enough light to see by. It's ingrained. I’m sure this has something to do with my upbringing. Saving money. Waste not, want not.

But this year I've decided to pull out all the stops. Let there be light! And plenty of it. I'm going to overcome years of certain habits and I'm going to luxuriate in light. I don't have a fireplace, but if I did, I'd light it every single time the sun began to set.

Instead, I'm going to turn on those lights. Yes, every one of them, even the ones across the room. I
also ordered a bunch of flameless candles and a candle display thingee for the wall. It wasn't cheap. Yes, I did hesitate. But not for long. And I have a remote control to turn them on and off, and a timer, and I'm using them starting...well...yesterday when they arrived.

And you know what? I feel better already. In just one short day. I love the softness and warmth of the flickering lights as I settle in to do a little reading. Right this minute, I can't wait for late afternoon when I can turn them on again.

Treat yourself. With a new 3-way lamp. Or a new funky shade. With candles, whether flameless or the real thing. Put them in your bathroom, in your bedroom, in your living room. And most important - use them! Finally, I see the light!