Tomorrow is February. January will be gone. I’m not a great one for wishing months away. I suppose I don’t really believe that a turning over of a calendar page can make much of a difference from one day to the next. But I’m on the lookout for Spring and February sounds so much more like Spring than January does.
When I walk down the next street, there’s a bush of some sort that extends out onto the footpath. The buds on this bush are swollen and ready to burst open. Spring is well on its way or even already here. I can’t always tell.
I’ve had as easier time of it that many. I’ve managed to keep myself occupied, though I think of the things I might have got done and didn’t. Plus, I didn’t get sick. Touch wood etc. etc. So, yeah, people have had it way worse than I have. Almost everybody, I’d say.
But man, it’s not easy, is it? It’s not like a piano falling on your head from a first-floor window. It’s more like that same piano being lowered onto your head, millimetre by millimetre, over a period of many long months.
So, thanks for leaving the lights on. It helped… I guess.
The lights are a favourite aspect of Christmas time for me. All around the town green, we call it The Mall, the trees are lit up for the Christmas season. It’s a lovely sight. In recent years, a temporary ice rink in the centre of The Mall has diffused the effect somewhat for me but, this year, there was no ice rink, no fairground attractions. There was just The Mall and its lovely yellow light, shimmering in the branches.
There’s always a day in January, usually after the 6th, when you walk up through the town and find that the lights aren’t on anymore. A brief moment of sadness, time is passing, then onward. Next year is, after all, another year. But, this year, the lights never went off. January went on and on and on and on and it was tough enough. The lights stayed and stayed though, warming the town a little, brightening the darkness. It was a good thing.
But, strangely enough, it was only a good thing for me for a very little while. I guess I over-thought it, as I often do with things. For me, as it turned out, the lights worked best as a sort of a promise. Christmas is coming, Christmas is here. We will rest and eat and be together again. After the warm novelty of seeing the lights in mid-January wore off, what remained was a tangy aftertaste. The lights wanted to promise something, it seemed to me, but there was nothing to offer. Christmas was gone, the days were short and hardy. The lights came to symbolise a general malaise rather than a general good. Another false promise, another short road to nowhere in particular.
It’s probably just me. As I said, I overthink things sometimes.
And now, as I remain vigilant for the coming of the Spring, the lights seem further diffused and irrelevant to me. The evenings grow a little longer. The lights are now competing with the creeping daylight of the coming spring. They seem pale and weak and a little out of their correct place. They seem sad to me.
Perhaps it’s time to let the lights go, until December comes around again. They have served us well over the dark months and they will do it again soon in, hopefully, better times. But everything has its season and the season of the lights on the Mall is now past. Spring is well on the way and she can do much of the heavy lifting from here.
Thanks for leaving them on, though. For a time there, it was undoubtedly welcome and helpful and good.
But for now, onward.