I passed by the house everyday on my way to work. It is a twenty minute drive down several country roads. I could take the highway but the country roads are more scenic. There are the wide expanses of fields, trees, occasional horses in their pasture. Corn fields for miles with a few houses in between. The view of the sky during a sunrise or sunset is unobstructed by buildings unlike the city.
Close to my destination, there is a two story green wooden house on the side of the road surrounded by cornfields. For some reason I always glanced at the front porch when I drove by. The porch had a welcoming feeling that made you want to come in. There was a wreath on the door and an old treadle sewing machine, rocking chair, and some baskets. On the sewing machine sat a small table lamp always lit. Odd, I thought, to have an electric lamp outside.
Every day when I drove by the house, I noticed the lamp was on, even though it was daylight. Did the owners forget to turn it off? I got used to seeing it on in the morning on the way to work and when I left and passed by it on the way home. It was always on, something I could count on.
One night, there was a thunder storm with strong winds and hail. That next morning when I drove by the house, I saw the lamp on the floor of the porch. The following day the lamp was gone.
I missed that lamp when I drove by as somehow it made a difference in my life. The welcoming feeling was gone. The porch seemed empty now. It was if all the country decorations and accessories had no meaning without that lamp on.
January passed with cold winter days then soon gave way to the up and down temperatures of February. My usual worries and anxieties plagued me but I tried to ignore them. As I drove by the farmhouse, what do I see? A new table lamp sat on the porch on top of the sewing machine. The light was on !
Now I see it on day and night as I pass by that house to and from work. The light welcomes me in the morning and is a beacon for me at night when I drive home, something I can count on. My symbol of hope returned.