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  • Writer's picturejstanion1890

Lighting our lives

I headed into town for the farmers' market early this past Saturday. What a day for an outdoor market. In truth, it was officially a "Gift" market since none of the farmers would be there. All the produce that had been planted for the winter season.....every carrot, every turnip, every collard, pretty much everything green and tender had been turned to mush by the 19 degree night we'd had about a month ago.


I drove slowly into town, winding carefully along the back roads, peering through the windshield in hopes no deer came bounding across the pavement. It was barely 7AM, the pitch black of pre-dawn just beginning to give way to the cold gray of a rain-soaked sunrise. Droplets the size of a pin head had begun to hit the windshield as I headed down the drive. The drops got bigger and more frequent as I crept along. The low hanging clouds promised the rain was going to get much heavier, and the wind guaranteed the temperature was going nowhere but down.


But, it was the last market of the season...the last chance for our local crafters to earn a little Christmas money...the last chance for kids to buy hand-made (and less expensive) teacher gifts this year...and the last time I'd see this talented group of artists and crafters until spring. I still wished I could have pulled the covers over my head and slept the morning away.



I hadn't traveled even a mile when I saw the first set... Christmas lights shining through a neighbor's window. And then another...and another.


As the miles passed, I realized I wasn't the only one getting up in the darkness. Nor was I the only one who needed a little lift...a boost to offset the news of war or homelessness or hateful words. Each set was different...some barely showing through closed curtains while others shone brightly through windows where curtains had been pulled completely aside to let the light shine out for all to see. Regardless of how big the tree, or how far off the road the house sat, each set added to the light of the morning.


By the time I got to the market, my spirit was completely uplifted. I had the energy to help set up a coffee pot, arrange the cocoa mix and marshmellows, and shift everything around on the table to make a little extra space for the cookies someone brought to share with the shoppers. Even stuffing the 50-gallon black bags into trash barrels didn't seem like such a chore. It was as if I'd absorbed a tiny bit of energy from each window, and the combined effect of all those windows in all those homes along the way had erased the gloom and doom of the day.


Thank you, neighbors!! I hope you find lights to brighten your days!!

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