Twinkle Lights

If joy was a tangible object, for me it would be a strand of twinkle lights.

When I lived in Connecticut, I remember visiting stores like Anna’s Linens or Home Goods, trying to find things to make my place, well, more like home. On one particular trip, I came across a medium-height, faux palm tree-in-planter, drenched in strands of twinkle lights.

It was divine. No other item was capable of such double-duty: it simultaneously reminded me of home, and was draped in sparkling goodness reminiscent of my favorite time of year.

Bliss.

Tonight, I drove through a quaint, nearby downtown area and was instantly reminded of the joy I found in my faux palm. I would plug it in on cold winter nights as the snow fell outside and all I could see and feel was the warmth of California and the promise of a festive holiday.

As I drove down the narrow streets this evening, all the trees were lit up, traffic was calm and the lights — if you squinted your eyes just enough — could pass either for ribbons of tiny bubbles floating upward in a champagne flute, or for a million Christmas trees.

Either option is more than excellent in my book.

Regardless of season, they are always there. In January, they tell you to not forget the magic of Christmas. In the spring, they glisten like the last hint of sunshine on the ocean, just before the sun sets. During summer, they provide a canopy of whimsy for outdoor cocktails, and in the fall they once again encourage us to slow down and embrace the holidays that are fast-approaching.

I wondered if there was anyone in the world who perhaps didn’t know the joy of a strand of twinkle lights, and I then figured there were likely plenty of people who weren’t aware of its spendor. I wondered — if presented with an illuminated string of tiny lights — whether the joy would translate, much like a smile tends to be universally understood.

I like to think that it would.

Tonight I am thankful for the little things that can instantly warm a heart, bring up old memories and deliver the promise of beauty in seasons to come. What’s your tangible joy?

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