Tip #183: Choose only the tiniest lights.*
It’s no secret that March is not my favorite month. I try to stay good spirited. I look for the crocuses and snowdrops. I spot the tulip leaves unfurling from the cold winter ground and point them out to my kids as we walk by.
“Do you know what those are going to become?” I’m breathless, practically shrieking, as I point out the daffodil shoots forcing themselves through the decaying leaves in the park. I am a daffodil shoot, trying to force myself through the decaying leaves in the park.
I revel in the extra hours of sunlight, no matter how hard those first few days of change can be.
Look, guys! We’re eating dinner and it’s still light out! I’m so sick of soup by this point that I hardly know what to do with myself, but I grin and gesture frantically out the window.
Despite my best efforts, it’s a month that always makes me melancholy. Maybe it’s the month-long sense of dread I self-impose by putting off my taxes. Or the fact that it’s just relentlessly gray and cold and windy. Maybe it’s that my feet have been in socks since October, and there’s been a hat on my head since November, and my shoulders are itching to be free from their coat and I’m just so ready to FEEL A BIT OF WARM SUNSHINE ON MY FACE.
I have an idea to make a cross-stitch of my walking routes in March. A messy map of threads running pell-mell over each other, representing the number of times I’ve crisscrossed the streets trying to stay on the sunny side.
At the risk of worshipping false idols, I’ll say that this little lamp has made an otherwise blah month a whole lot better. Brighter? It’s just a little lamp. A bulb on a wire, more or less, with a diminutive antique milk glass shade. It reminds me of something that my family might have had hanging over their table on Kenmare Street a hundred and change years ago. It doesn’t cast its light very far, but it makes for a cozy spot in a tiny apartment. It’s been a little anchor for us, drawing us over to our makeshift dining table (two, pushed together).
This weekend we sat under the lamp and made paper chains and ripped up past masterpieces for collages. On a rainy morning the lamp shined its light on pancakes drenched in a thick fruit syrup made from frozen strawberries. At night, it offered a bit of company while I sat beneath it triple checking my basic arithmetic and searching for missing receipts.
For the curious:
The flower frog is from Notary Ceramics.