Falling in Maine

To combat the loneliness, I walk slowly.

When I get to my apartment I know what I will find when I enter; dishes that need washing, my yoga mat half rolled up and the quiet punctured only by the hum of the fridge.

I’ve taken to peeking into the windows of the neighboring houses from afar and admiring the pumpkins on the steps outside as I pass. What has amazed me is that I have never seen a single person walking around in their illuminated floor plan. I’ve seen chandeliers and houseplants, China and writing desks, dining room tables set and ready for dinner, and framed images of people on bookshelves. But not once have I seen a soul milling about inside. In this way, I like to think of these painted friends as life-size dollhouses. As if some greater force knows I’m about to walk down the street and switches on all the lights beckoning me to look inside with glee.

Lighthouses come in all shapes and sizes. In this case candy colored, set and ready for a friend to visit. It’s good to remember that leaving a light on to guide a person is an act of kindness, even if that isn’t your porch and that light isn’t for you and you aren’t going home, no not at all. But all the same the glow is still cutting through the twilight warmly. It’s still a reminder that people will let their love light your pathway. That you should not drag your feet through the dirt and lament the encroaching darkness but illuminate yourself like your very own front porch light and set the table for dinner in hopes friends will appear.

What gladness; to help them find their way to you through your own luminescence. What care to help a stranger see her way as she meanders past your windows; flicking her eyes towards the glinting chandelier as she makes her way to her own little dark rooms. Inspiring her to light a candle as soon as she kicks her boots off so God and who ever else is looking for her company may find her easier among the gathering stars and sleepy autumn trees.

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