When I was a girl, every summer we visited my grandparents in northern Florida on the Apalachicola River. The closer we got to their house, the louder the cicadas sang and the thicker the humidity became. The sky was as black as the river that ran behind their house. On those sticky summer nights, to a little girl, it just seemed like there was only vast emptiness ahead of us.
In the vast darkness, our headlights seemed to be the only lights around. But, once we got close to Granddaddy’s house, we could see a tiny light blinking in the distance.
Granddaddy would always leave the porch light on and when we saw the porch light, we knew we were almost there.
Awhile back, I attended a meeting of small business owners with my husband Phil. There were four businesses represented; a frozen custard shop, a health food store, an accounting firm, and our ministry!
In order for the trainer to make a point about the perils and power of influence, she wrote several words on a white board. The words were a list of colors: red, black, blue, green…you get the idea. But, the tricky part was that she wrote all those words over and over in random order and each word which named a color was written with a marking pen of a different color! So, the word “pink” was written with blue ink; the word “yellow” was written in read ink! Stressed out yet? I know!
The lace panels cascaded gracefully down the length of our two living room windows. When I was a girl, I went into my living room each afternoon just when the light was the softest to practice the piano. The clusters of broken, patterned light would be strewn across the floor, bending to creep up on Mama’s old coffee table, meandering up to sit upon the burgundy upholstered Duncan Fife sofa and landing on the crème satin painted walls, spreading with stateliness like fine wallpaper.
I loved gazing on that light. I studied it, traced it with my fingers and tried to anticipate where it would travel as the afternoon ebbed. It was interesting and delicate, soft and inviting. I sat at the piano with my back to the light as I practiced, and by the time my thirty minutes had passed, the light that flooded my living room had shifted. It was no longer tracing the path on the floor, on the coffee table, the sofa and wall. Now a different pattern of light crept more closely toward the piano, blanketing the stool, illuminating a few keys and leaving swirls and broken fragments of sunshine upon the old walnut cabinet of the piano.