Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cypress at 7th

For someone who claims less than average affection for the Christmas season, some light displays seem to give me extraordinary pleasure.  I've been thinking over the past few days why I love some and feel indifferent or just plain put off by others.  I used to think it was the choice of colors and tasteful arrangement that warmed my heart but I think something else draws me.  Sometimes, the human touch is so compelling, it is as joyful and innocent as the wonder in a child's first awareness of light and beauty.  That is the case in this house that I have passed so many times on Cypress Street.  The lights are never taken down completely, and there is delight in every detail.  Like the community garden at 6th, the house at 7th seems to send out a welcome as I pedal (sometimes laboriously) uphill.      

Last night, I made a mental note as I rode by that one day, I would take the time to enjoy a closer look. This evening, I arrived home early, and when Bill suggested we go out for a latte, I asked if we could stop on the way to take a few pictures on Cypress Street.
We drove to the corner of 7th, and Bill (bless his heart) walked Black Jack around and around the block, while I began snapping pictures.  Suddenly, a theatrical voice called, "No pictures, please."  I looked up to see eyes full of mischief and a grin of pleasure.  Petr and Francois (my guess is that Francois is the main decorator, and that he is on the right, but we never did get around to introductions) were heading out to celebrate Petr's birthday, but they were happy to let me take as many pictures as I liked.  They gave me their e-mail address so that I could send them copies if any turned out.  I felt as though I had scored big time, to meet and feel the energy of the humans behind this place that has greeted me, commute after commute.  Francois told me that the display changes a bit each day, and that the best day of all will be just after Boxing Day, when he goes shopping for new decorations.  Petr apologized because he's been too busy to do the climbing necessary to complete the higher up spots.  When Bill and Black Jack said "hi" on one of their many tours around the block, we learned that they also have two dogs. In the few minutes that we talked, several neighbors stopped to give birthday wishes, and it was easy to see that Francois and Petr bring fun as well as beauty to their surroundings.  If the decorations hadn't been enough, walking the dogs would have given everyone the perfect opportunity to stop and get to know each other.    

Petr on the left (I think) and Francois on the right.
A close-up of the front porch.
I had never noticed the bike before.  The polka-dot seat and lights on the front tire were a great touch.
I missed the top of the roof, but caught the decorated foliage at the right.
My favorite shot.  The candy lights in the top left window all flashed on at the same time.
Thanks, Francois and Petr! You give a beautiful gift to the neighborhood and to the many passers-by.  I hope to update your work of art as it progresses. 

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