I put up a bunch of Christmas lights today, although I need another extension cord to light them all. I had spent all the good daylight hours puzzling out whom were the essential Irish American writers of the ’20s and ’30s (two are essential: Eugene O’Neill and James T. Farrell; Margaret Mitchell actually gets honorable mention; and F. Scott Fitzgerald and John O’Hara add some glitter, but you would never have known they came from Irish backgrounds from their writing; don’t consider this an exhaustive list ). So it was dark by the time I got around to the lights. I don’t want to think about how many strings there are along the eves and the little trellis on top of the driveway gate and on the hedge along the driveway. But enough that I think they’ll make the electric meter spin a little faster. And that spinning will make me think on and off again about how our merry light display and the ones around the neighborhood (and around your neighborhood as well) are all part of this warming equation that could make the North Pole untenable for future Claus & Co. habitation. That’s what I was thinking as I sat on the edge of my roof in a pair of shorts in the dark hanging those lights. And this: that it’s not as easy as it was just to plug the lights in and enjoy the spectacle.
Still: It’s the season of light, right? We’ll warm ourselves in this one and look down the way for the others to come.