Who buys a lamp he cannot read by?
What could be the intention of someone walking alone through a Portland, Maine, gift shop on a summer afternoon, setting his sights on a lamp when he has no obvious room in which it can cast its muted light?
Some light is the light of hope and wonder, and the steps I was taking a year ago this summer were steps of hope and wonder as I focused on creating a new home. No, I did not expect to read by the light of the luminaire lamp. Its stone etching suggested sunlight through the trees of a forest, like the Sanctuary Trail at nearby Prouts Neck. I expected something would happen by that light, but it was not what I could talk about with any confidence or logical rigor. It involved an act of faith, and I was not accustomed to acting out of faith in myself or my dreams.
I am honoring this time of anniversary by turning that lamp on each evening, knowing that I will not do anything by that light that bears comment or commands attention from others. I am willing to let a light shine, though, through a room that did not know twelve months ago what I might be attempting within its walls each night, the ease and the re-creation that sleep can bring to someone starting a life over.
Image of lithophane lamp from The Porcelain Garden