Ambivalence and the Floodlights
A wet but soothing smattering of white decorates the world outside my door this morning.
It seems rather odd to these seasoned eyes to see the ground with so much green amongst the snow, yet framed by naked trees.
It is December! It should be sparkling white, not bright green! Perhaps this unseasonable weather explains my lack of enthusiasm for Christmas decorations. Until yesterday, there was not a single festive bit inside or outside the house. Yesterday I dragged myself outdoors to attend to our neighbourly contribution to the season, out of obligation not desire.
I love the dazzle and sparkle of Christmas lights. I love the magic of splendid outdoor displays that invite me to play and giggle and imagine. But please don't ask me to create them! I like to think that I come by my ambivalence honestly - I got it from my Father. His idea of outdoor decorations was floodlights; red and green splashed across the front of the house. Some years he went all out and in addition to the floodlight, strung 2m of coloured lights higgledy-piggledy along the awnings.
My mother on the other hand was the creative one. One year, she'd had enough of her husband's lacklustre efforts. She bought a kit that made a wall size Nativity scene to look like stained glass. For weeks my sister and I sat at the kitchen table colouring pieces of the tableau with wax crayons, then oiling it, while Mom cut and assembled the masterpiece.
No ordinary floodlight would do for this. Dad had to reach for this one. He bought a special light that rotated red, green, blue and yellow lights across the scene. It was stunning - one of those displays that the folks from all around the neighbourhood came to see.
Those were the days. And I am my father's daughter...
with just a bit of my mother's flare at critical moments.
And maybe just a little bit more...
©2015 April Hoeller