by Cathy Leestma

I cannot tell you that I remember the lamp pictured here from my childhood. I do not. It was my grandparents, although I do not remember ever seeing it in their home.  I found it covered with a towel, a little like a discarded puppy, in my dad’s basement in Lake Lure many years after my grandmother passed away. But I can tell you that the moment I claimed it as my own, it became a part of my daily life as much as my morning raisin bran with blueberries.

It has graced the corner of my desk and has given me many moments of quiet joy. I believe one of the pulls was replaced with a hanging bell, the original pull had a small acorn. The base of some type of black metal is not in very good shape. It matters not. I did have it rewired and expect it will last long after me. As we age together, she becomes a dear friend.

What would I give to hear the conversations that were told in ear shot of this lamp? They would be stories that would chronicle my dad’s life as the oldest of four boys raised in a German home where generations lived together. Perhaps this old lamp heard my great grandfather speaking in his native tongue.  Maybe whispers of the Great War were shared along with the fear that the brothers would enlist to fight the evil rising in Europe.

It might be the light from this lamp that allowed my grandmother to read the directions of her new Braille machine. Ironic, isn’t it that this light would allow her to Braille for children who would never see the light.

The shade is a resin composite with a scalloped rim of apples fashioned in an artistic way. ‘She’ is bright, beautiful and very comforting and lives on the corner of my desk lighting my way as I work on The Breeze. Sometimes when I am tired and want to take a break, I imagine her saying, “Just a break and then back to work. “

My husband has just walked in and remembers the lamp well. It seems it was indeed in the room where Grandma Emma worked on her Braille. And so this Thanksgiving and Christmas season, I wish you all time to reflect on warm memories and those who have lit your way.