A few nights ago while driving home, we passed a house on a hill with its Christmas lights on.
Yes, it’s still February.
But I liked it—this house with its friendly glowing colors against the deepening twilight, alone amongst the silent huddled rows of ticky-tacky houses with their washed-out winter faces.
In college, I used to keep my Christmas lights up all year. It suited the time and the place, along with the glow-in-the-dark stars, the phone booth door mural (just me?) and the lamp that got the blue lightbulb. I’d switch out my posters, wall hangings, objects and trinkets depending on my mood and how I pictured everything co-existing. I’d even dust.
It took me four carloads to bring everything home after senior year.
But this is what makes up “atmosphere” to me: Color, harmony and beauty. If things were out of sync, I wasn’t satisfied until I’d done something about it. No low-level itch for me!