I see a lot in the dark before dawn as I walk to Mass this time of year. I’m not creeping on my neighbors, but eyes are drawn to light, and so it can’t be helped. Most homes are not lit in any way, but there are a few, and that’s the direction I look. There are the bluish glowings of a TV, the small obvious bathroom windows that shine, and even some red/green/blue tiny lights one particular home.
It makes me remember when I was a teenager, sent to the laundromat to wash and dry the family’s clothes. (Stay with me here. The memory is connected to the early morning homes I see.) Anyway, Mom would wait until each of us was in our very, very last clean outfit, and then I was delivered to the laundromat and left to wait. I’d notice the other people who were moving their laundry from washer to dryer, or standing at the folding tables. I’d see what they were folding and try to imagine how many people of what ages belonged to them. I’d make up stories in my head about my imaginings to pass the time.
I know most of my neighbors, so I don’t have to imagine much about their family situation from their early morning lights, but I do think about their early morning habits. If anyone were to see into my home before I leave, they’d see dim lamplight and my salt lamp glowing through the pulled blinds my living room. In my kitchen window, they’d see my pendant light with the Edison bulb (no blind there)…emitting soft warm-amber luminosity. (I asked “Alexa” for that synonym. It’s a good one, isn’t it?) They might catch a glimpse of me getting my coffee maker ready, or rinsing my cat food can for the recycling bin.
Early, early morning, before the sun breaks is a magical time. I’m glad the crack-of-dawn Mass gets me out of the house, then. It’s wonderful to be wondering.