I’m eight years old, playing outside in the fast-growing darkness at the end of a summer’s day.

I’ve just climbed up a little concrete trellis in the courtyard of a neighboring apartment building and am waiting for a little ritual to begin; the moment when an ornamental globe atop the trellis should be switched on.

I stand there and wait and soon in the gathering dusk the magic happens: the globe comes to life with its soft, warm light.

Now I’m insulated from the coming darkness, made secure by this light.

It’s as if I’ve suddenly become a grownup man, who sits in an easy chair in his own home with a lamp beside him, smoking a pipe and reading the paper.

Ah, all is right in the world!

But then a voice calls all too soon, calling me from three houses away.

It’s time to come in.

And so I leave, thinking that I’ll return another day, but though many days have gone by and I’ve had many a pipe and newspaper, and homes, and easy chairs and lamps, this scene still lingers in my mind as one of the most satisfying moments of home that I have ever known.

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