It is very late on this February evening and I am looking around my darkened house at the many lamps that are lit. Small lamps, with 15watt bulbs glowing from almost every corner. Suddenly I am remembering something from my childhood long ago, sitting in my very small, perfectly square bedroom, that was located off of the perfectly square central hall, of a perfectly square drop-joint, red brick, comfortable, house on the Niagara River, that I spent my growth years. My Grandfather and Great Grandfather had built the one story house with a large attic and full basement in the 1930’s. My parents added more bedrooms upstairs in the attic to the home in the 1950’s for our growing family. This was the setting in which I was enjoying the soft glow from my very first table lamp that some kind person had put in my room. It is one of the moments in my young life that I cannot seem to forget. That electric lamp became one of my very first moments I remember of discerning something on my own that I thought was so perfect. I knew there was a tangible difference in how I felt encompassed by that small electric lamp light, and the way my room although most of it was dark, had a wonderful low glowing coming from that small lamp. The overhead light that was attached to the ceiling in my bedroom made everything look so harsh and garish when it was turned on. I would leap frantically to turn it off when it was accidentally turned on by someone other than I. My brothers and sisters did not understand my conviction and would taunt met to leave it on. However, I was determined that this was very important to me and would always look at them wondering why I felt this way when they did not care about it at all. All I knew was that it was changing the way everything looked and somehow felt in my room, and that was very important to me even when I was a child.
Years ago, my Grandmother who was in her late 80’s, sent me to have a wonderful old German porcelain chocolate set repaired and gave me the name of someone who did that for their life’s work. When I arrived, I have no idea why, but the elderly gentleman surrounded by his antiques and other repairable items told me this; “low lamp light, my wife and I prefer low lamp light”. I never had anyone tell me that before and I agreed whole heartedly remembering instantly my childhood convictions. Now I am a collector of lamps. Over the years I will find one that has that perfect glow I am looking for, and then another will take its place. Faces and eyes are lit, smiles are lifted, and a quiet warmth can be felt all around the room. It seems very magical to me. As the years of my life go marching swiftly along, even the lines of my face seem to soften in that low lamp light carrying me gently through them. The convictions of my youth that now have become a part of my personality, will always remind me of childhood memories in the glow of a tiny lamp light, from a perfectly square bedroom of long ago.