When we moved into this farm, 23 years ago, one of the things that were on my ‘Have GOT to change THAT’ list, was the light fixture in our bedroom. I thought that it was, without a doubt, the weirdest, ugliest, most garish light that I had ever laid eyes on. I recall showing someone through the house and their comment was ‘What a beautiful light!’ I was sure they were being facetious, or at the very least had questionable taste. Replacing it was at the top of my ‘Must Do’ list.
As it happened, a few hundred other things required time and money, so a new/different light moved way down on the priority list. After all, no one would ever be in our bedroom anyway; never mind that it was the first thing I saw when I opened my eyes, and the last thing I saw every night. Every single time for years and years, I would think – ‘my gawd, what a horrendously ugly, ugly light’. The plan was that when the bulb burned out and I had to figure out a way to get it apart, that would be my opportunity to get a new one.
Over time though, my attitude shifted when I laid there looking at the light. Sometimes I’d study to see exactly HOW they made it, but then the thoughts would detour back to WHY. The stems are done in a shaky hand with a weird coloured, kind of gross gold paint. The petals though – that was what bothered me - I happened to detest orange, and especially orange-red.
The years have gone on … and on … and on. I like orange/orange-red now. In fact, I’m drawn to it. When I see the the rough and shaky stems, I think of the hand that painted them and wonder who they were and when & where it was created. I have kind of grown fond of it in a ‘face-only-a-mother-would-love’ sort of way. In reality though, it is still pretty homely.
I was surprised then, a little while ago, when Scotty came into my room after spending the night and said, totally out of the blue: "You know Nan, that is the most BEAUTIFUL light I have ever seen." Quite amazed that a nine year old boy would notice, let alone make mention of something like that, I said ‘REALLY?’ Very seriously, he answered: “Yes, I’ve ALWAYS thought so – my WHOLE life.”
All that aside, that is not the amazing or interesting thing about the light. What makes this light stand apart from any other light is that it is PERPETUAL. Never once in twenty three years has the light bulb been replaced. Really, truly, honestly - not ONCE. That is especially remarkable in the fact that we live with constant power surges and light bulbs burn out here in record time. I think it must have known that if it ever came to taking it down, that would be the end of it. It burns on and on – most likley from long before we moved in. I’m curious as to what kind of bulb it is - it must be an antique, but I’m not about to take it apart to see. I’m leaving well-enough alone, and watching with great interest to see if it lasts longer than me.
Burn on, my homely friend, burn on.