It's just a light.
I know this, and yet, when I gaze out my windows to find it no longer there, I am saddened.
The feeling is irrational.
Again, I know this, but the heart wants what the heart wants, and my heart wants the light.
It's the little red light that shined from the window of an apartment in the building across the street. And the strings of lights that lined the trees throughout downtown. And all four of the lights that were perched atop Well's Fargo Tower. And the lights strung through the trees on Broadway.
Please, bring them back.
Bring back the reds, greens and whites that lit the nighttime sky through the end of November and December, because it gets so dark so early in this town, and we could all use a little more light.
Bring back the tree that glittered in the center of Pioneer Courthouse Square.
Bring back the red and white Santa hats that somehow seemed to make everyone smile.
Bring back the tinsel, and the boxes and bows. Bring back the wreaths of holly and evergreen.
Bring back the candy canes.
Bring back the peppermint mochas, the eggnog and the spicy ales, because there's always time to share one with a friend, and there is no better time than the present.
Any time is a fine time for a celebration.
Bring back the light.
"I love coming to your house grandma because we always have a huge dinner and I get to eat good stuff like turkey. I love turkey!"
As the words came out of my six year old mouth, my grandmother was silenced. She didn't know what to say.
Any other adult might have explained that the family was spread out across the state, which meant we usually only saw each other on holidays - thus the huge meals.
But this was no holiday. I believe it was sometime in spring. And dinner was likely to have been simple. Spaghetti, maybe. Truth be told, it was probably coincidence that so many family members were in town on the same weekend.
It didn't matter.
"It's good to have everyone together, isn't it?" she said. "Get your shoes on because we're going to the store."
Hours later, when the aunts and uncles returned from doing whatever it is adults in a small town do, I saw my grandmother's silence again - except this time, it was on each of their faces.
One by one, they entered the dining room to find a Thanksgiving feast in the middle of spring.
Any time is a fine time for a celebration, so bring back the lights.
I realize they're intended to be a reminder of the spirit of the season, but what is the season, really? Jesus was born in the spring yet we celebrate his birth on December 25th, and Thanksgiving didn't earn its place on the calendar as the fourth Thursday in November until 1939.
These dates, and these holidays, are as fabricated as the ToFurkey my ex used to eat. And I ate it too - with a generous helping of the real bird of course.
So what if the calendar says January rather than November or December? Any time is a fine time to celebrate.
The light for me is the light in you. All of you.
I saw it twinkle in your eyes last November, and it sparkled through December, as did you. But when I looked today, your light was gone.
Bring it back.