With the vintage family pieces that I own, such as the old lamp that rests on my bedside table, perfection is not required. It’s okay if the item has a missing part, or proudly bears scratches and dents, or doesn’t work properly anymore. I embrace the Japanese philosophy of wabi sabi…beauty in imperfection.
The vintage double globed table lamp came to me after Greg’s mother passed away in 1999. Bob Moore gave me two such lamps, actually, with the larger one being a fancier parlor style version. From my research, these lamps was produced in the 1940s and 50s.
Sadly, the bigger parlor lamp was destroyed as a result of the 2011 tornado that struck Joplin. Debris crashed through a window and shattered the lamp. I was heartsick about the loss. As a protective measure, I moved the smaller, more plain lamp away from windows. It has served as my bedside lamp since.
The double globe lamps have a three way switch. One click and the lower globe lights up. Two clicks and the upper globe shines. Three clicks and both globes turn on, illuminating the area. However, for as long as I have owned this lamp, the lower globe has not worked. It perhaps hasn’t lit up for many years. That’s one of those questions I never thought to ask of the Moores, along with requesting to hear the story of the lamp’s purchase.
Greg took the lamp apart several years ago and tested connections and added new bulbs, to no avail. I didn’t mind. I still use the lamp every evening. As darkness gathers in my room, I switch on this keepsake, the upper globe providing plenty of cozy light. Before sleep, the last thing I do before snuggling beneath the covers is to reach over and click off the old lamp.
A Light in the Darkness
Last night was no different. Except…lying in the darkness, feeling a strange restlessness, I crawled back out of bed and left the room. I exited a dark room, knowing my house well enough to wander around without benefit of lighting.
Therefore I was startled when I returned to my dimly lit room. To my great wonderment the lower globe of my old lamp was lit, guiding my way back. I sat on the edge of the bed and smiled, staring at it. Because it’s never worked, since I owned it, I apparently turned the switch one too many times without realizing it. The circuit was open. And now…for some reason…energy flowed to the bulb.
I sat for a long time, watching the lamp. The light remained steady. I clicked the switch. The upper globe lit, as it always does. And then both globes shone softly when I clicked a third time. Remarkable. The lamp joins a short list of items that I own that have miraculously “repaired” themselves, without human intervention, after not working for ages.
In my magical life, nothing happens by coincidence or accident. So the question became, as I sat quietly thinking, “Why is this lamp working now? What’s the deeper meaning for me?”
I’ve had distinct themes going on this week: don’t give up on my dreams, and connected to that, don’t be afraid. I was reminded a couple of days ago that I had overcome a lifelong fear of the dark. The significance of this light, glowing in the darkness, was not lost on me.
Be the Light
The renewal of this lamp, which continues to work perfectly today, does more than cast a glow into the room. It’s light reaches my soul. I feel seen, and heard, and understood, by the Divine. El-le (my name for God) hears my deepest thoughts and knows me at a level that no one else can. We have daily, ongoing conversations that often defy logic or tradition, and signs and wonders are part of that conversation.
Spirit is energy. And energy, or Spirit, found a way to flow again through the circuits of this old lamp, lighting the darkness, drawing me to it. My doubts and fears from past this week? They burned away in the soft glow of the miraculous light. I am reminded, yet again, that the universe is bigger and more mysterious and infinitely more glorious than the small stories I sometimes allow myself to get caught up in. And I am reminded to be light, in whatever darkness I find myself in.
There are other connections that I made. Light is symbolic of many things to me. Freedom from fear of the dark, hard won. My heart is whole and full of light. I’m still creating comparisons and analogies from last night’s experience.
Before clicking off the lamp again, I felt the invitation, more than heard the words: Open to Spirit, let energy flow to you and through you and beyond. Be light. Be Cindy, Going Beyond.
Beyond what? Well, that will be the fun part, discovering what’s next on this amazing journey.