Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Mystery Of The Disappearing Porch Lights

I've started noticing something strange happening in my little town. The porch lights are vanishing! On any given night you can drive around our fair hamlet and see a small handful of porch lights on, beckoning their occupants home. The warm glow shining into the dark night warms my heart, a cheery spot in the cold dark unknown.

Do you have a porch light? Do you turn it on at dusk? Why do so many people no longer follow this practice? If you look at pictures of 1940's and 1950's streets at dusk, you will see row after row of porch lights turned on. It was a symbol: "We are home", "We would enjoy your company" or "We are waiting for you to get home to us". I can't help but think that a weary man returning home after a long day of work enjoys the sight of the porch light. Someone cared enough to turn it on for him, someone wanted him to make it safely to the door, someone wanted him to know that they care and are waiting.

I'm an avid porch lighter. As soon as it's dark, I turn the porch light on. My husband almost always returns home after dark and I like to think that seeing the porch light from the end of the street makes him feel glad to be home. Home, where his wife is, thinking about him being tired, weary and ready to rest, had turned on the porch light as a symbol of welcome- a small gesture of love.

Have porch lights been abandoned in the name of frugality? Do the few scents you save by leaving the light off become a reason to leave the front of your home dark and unwelcoming? Where have all the porch lights gone??

Maybe I'm way off base, but I think a world with more porch lights would be an improvement. It would mean families were home, together. It would mean they were actively thinking about the ones who aren't home, who are traveling, who are out in the night trying to find their way.

You don't need to turn every light you have on, but let the simple act of turning on a porch light symbolizes your love for the ones you are guiding home.

Let it shine! Let it shine! Let it shine!

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