When I was a kid, I knew it was holiday time when we’d drive past Valley View Farms and just lose it over the lights. They’d staple lights to anything without a pulse, and back when Hunt Valley was more farm than mini-mall, you could see the show from all the way down York Road. Our Volvo must have looked like an American Express commercial with our pudgy blonde heads pressed against the foggy windows, millions of burning fossil fuels reflected on our faces.
I’m not a big Christmas fan, but dammit I still love the lights. Now that I’m a million years old and live in the city, I have a new version of The Holidays Cometh. There is a carriage house next to the ass-end of the Walter’s Art Museum that just gets me. Strands of white lights, bunched close together, put out every year just when I’m starting to regret the day Jesus was born. (jk, JC fans). I walked home last night and for the first time in the six years I’ve adored this light canopy, I saw them being resurrected.
Completely stopped, 20 feet away, I stood unmoving as if deer were in my yard. I froze, my fingers itching to turn my phone into the camera it really wants to be, but I was too scared to take a picture, lest these givers of light see me and think me uncool. Instead of walking over to introduce myself and thank them for this non-denominational winter dream, I stepped into the street, walked against parked cars to avoid oncoming traffic, and hopped back on the sidewalk just past their house.
Like an asshole.
As this is part of my walk home, I grabbed a few shots this evening. They were taken in shame, though. I contribute nothing festive or important outside of my house for passersby to enjoy, and I couldn’t even stop to say thank you to these people? I’ve never seen them outside of their home before, and because this is how these things go, I probably never will.
Who am I kidding. This is Baltimore. They’re probably my best friend’s parents or used to vacation with my family or are related to my brother somehow.
THANK YOU, light canopy people. You make me smile and not hate a 4:45pm sunset so much.