Saturday, March 23, 2024

Did You Know: Scarlet Maples Hold Their Leaves Until Spring?

Sometimes it's the simple things which bring pleasure, maybe even joy. Or in the case of such a simple fix, it brings us a sense of safety. Which will seem ridiculous when I tell you what it was. 

Somehow it fits. With this photo I took almost a week ago: the moon through the scarlet maple, still full of the rust colored leaves from fall, waiting for the spring bud to emerge, green, pushing away the crisp leaves. I was sitting in my car, a few minutes of transition from the drive home from work, before going into the house.

The moon in an a nearly totally clear sky. Its light bright and soothing, lightly illuminating the places out of sight from the ineffective street lamps.

The very simple thing I did a few days ago? I bought small, palm-sized motion sensor lights to put on the stairs. The light fixture on the top stair landing has always been funky, but it gave out several years ago. No one wanted to replace it for us, because - well, reasons. No way either of us are going to try to install or repair anything involving electrical wires. So we're always extra cautious going up and down the stairs at night. There is a little light bleed from the front porch, or a little on the landing if the upstairs light is on; but there are dark patches with very little usable light. We've managed. We've never fallen. There is railing. And. For safety reasons, adding light on the stairs seemed like a good idea.

It was and it is. Every time I have to go up or down the stairs at night right now, I smile. I can see each step. I can see the piece of mail I forgot to put away. I can see the water bottle I left on the stairs. I can see the fanned corner at the bottom.

Such a simple solution. No holes were drilled, no wires messed with, no big expense or major time investment. Yet we are safer and more comfortable moving through the house at night.

A little light on the stairs, which automatically turn on when we approach, and turn off about 10-15 seconds after motions stops.

I wonder what other simple solutions are just around the corner. 

Next week I will be meeting with a beta reader of the manuscript. He is one of my "book lights" I'd say. I look forward to seeing where his light falls and where he found shadows, or what questions remain.

I don't think there is a this simple of a solution for getting the manuscript from here to publishing. But maybe keeping the focus on each step, each edit, each round of feedback will do the trick. 

There is a bit of light coming through and a path going forward. Like the moon through the scarlet maple anticipating spring. Like me with my slippered feet making their way more confidently down the stairs for a cup of nighttime tea. 

One step. One light. Keep going.