And Beheld the Light of Evening

The Lord is the Light of Evening, as much as he is the Light of Morning. Everywhere we are, the Lord is the only light and without him light is darkness.

When I lived in the other place – the slums of Harrison Township – I complained about it. We had drug-dealers in the apartment below and the living room felt like a tunnel with light only at one end.

I ought to have done the Lord the justice, then, of not complaining about our place of living, and instead thanked him for life. However I will try to do him the justice now of praising the place where we currently live.

I think there are angels on this street. A mile down the road a man was killed after being kidnapped at Quizzno’s. But here on this street all is quiet with something more golden than silence. In the evening hours, when my three-year old son can safely be left with his father, I do not put on shoes but with bare feet I step outside and pad up and down the the sidewalk. People have done lovely things with their landscaping, making the most of a situation in which the houses on the street were originally built to be identical. Tract housing, they called it. Now it is unity with variety. The unity is the structure. The variety is the plant life surrounding it.

Four houses down, someone got it right. A perfectly cloud-shaped tree stands out a little ways from the house, at the very spot it ought to stand. The path to the door curves a little. Small solar lights glow around the base of the tree and down the length of the flower bed in which a variety of foliage flourishes. Somehow, with the logic of art, it is perfect. It is the heart of the street’s quiet.

When the windows go dark, I go out and sit on that part of the lawn on the other side of the sidewalk – the part the city owns. My eyes conscientiously avoid the windows of my neighbors’ house, which are curtained at any rate. I gaze just at the spot under the tree where you feel you could fall sleep, and wake up in the happiest part of your childhood. And I murmur a greeting, in the Lord’s name, to any holy angel that is there with me and, finally, the Lord himself.

Lord,
now let your servant depart in peace
according to your word.

For my eyes have seen your salvation
A light to enlighten the Gentiles
And the glory of your people Israel.

There in the dark the whole street is radiant.

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