Those lights

Last night I reached up to turn off the reading lights over my bed and was struck with the realization that, except for a few brief years, these lamps have lit my night since I was three years old. When I left home, I left them behind. When my mother decided to redecorate, she was going to toss them. I had her send them to me instead. They are absolutely from the fifties – square box with glass front on which a ballerina dances – and in great shape except for a small spot where my mother washed the paint away from the ballerina’s feet because she thought it was dirt.
The only thing in this world that has been around me longer than these lights is my brother. I can still see under the lights where the switch is and find my name as I wrote it in pencil over sixty years ago. All I have to do is see that and I am instantly back in my childhood. It’s a great way to fall asleep.