Lights! – by Michael Morse

Photo: The Picozzi family home, Warwick, RI. Frank Picozzi is the new mayor of Warwick

by Michael Morse, contributing writer

We are stuck in our homes this Christmas Season, no hustle, no bustle, no big parties, no department store Santas, not much of a Christmas Spirit in the air.

But while we are inside looking out there is a world of people outside, who wish they were inside, looking out for those of us who are stuck inside wishing we were out.

So, light up your windows with a candle’s soft glow, illuminate your doorways; there may not be crowds of guests coming through this year, but that does not mean a welcoming light is any less important.

Police still patrol, firefighters still fight fires, medics still make house calls, deliveries are being made and people are still leaving their homes to get to their essential jobs.

Those Christmas lights we sometimes take for granted mean a whole lot more to the people who have left their homes and the people they love behind.

I wrote this one December morning following a particularly brutal overnight shift. The ride home was surreal, light snow had begun to fall, and the homes that still had their lights on as darkness gave way to dawn created just enough magic inside of me to get me through.

I love Christmas lights.

I love the way they look.

I love the way they make me feel when I look at them.

I love leaving my house at four in the afternoon and turning them on, knowing full well I won’t be home till long after the timer turns them off.

I used to only turn them on when I was home to enjoy them.

Then I realized the lights aren’t about me, or even for me.

The lights are for everybody, just like everybody else’s lights are for me.

I’m glad I realized that, it makes me like the lights even more.


Michael Morse spent 23 years as a firefighter/EMT with the Providence Fire Department before retiring in 2013 as Captain, Rescue Co. 5. He is an author of several books, most offering fellow firefighter/EMTs and the general population alike a poignant glimpse into one person’s journey through life, work and hope for the future. He is a Warwick resident.