As I was out walking through the Warrendale neighborhood this afternoon, I though about the Christmas light displays that I had posted about so many times on this blog and, in particular, what it was about them that I liked so much.
More than anything, I finally realized, what I like about Christmas lights is that they give a sense of normalcy in a world that has become incredibly abnormal.
We in Detroit have a local government that is, even on its best days, completely useless and appears to be getting worse.
The local economy is a disaster.
Each of these things presents a challenge for those of us who care deeply about our community. It is something that we need to work through. However, all of this can be incredibly tiring and frustrating.
In those moments when I simply feel like giving up and putting a hex on those who convinced me not to leave this town years ago, the normalcy of Christmas lights provide a reprieve. They are a moment when everything seems to be alright; a much needed sense that our world has not gone to hell just yet.
Moments like those, no matter how fleeting they might be, give me the strength to continue on and to try one more thing to improve our community. Lights in the darkness can be extremely comforting, especially when they are put there by my friends and neighbors.