In the Air

_C1_4397You all know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, right?

I’m just teasing, but it’s funny to me that whether it’s in my family’s house or on Fayetteville’s square, the week before Thanksgiving is the time for Christmas lights. Maybe it’s still warm enough to put them up, or maybe it’s that sunsets these days are so early that we need to fill the evenings with some light of our own (I swear every year the sunsets get earlier.). Or it could be that we’re impatient.

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_C1_4492Most of this week’s photos are from the first night of the Lights of the Ozarks in the square, an annual event that organizers say includes half a million of those cylindrical bulbs. In true Ozark fashion, the first night resembled a county fair, with stacks of corn dogs and a pony merry-go-round in between glowing trees. Lots of families and lots of selfies, too, of course.

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_C1_4264I wonder if there’s any cultural significance to our focus on light during the season of darkening skies and hibernation, the night of a figurative year-long day. Is our light defiance, or just a calm source of comfort and fun for ourselves? I don’t mean to drag it all down, but it’s interesting to think about, at least to me.

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_C1_4552This is Razorback Stadium, bathed in red light from the jumbo screen. The pinkish glow of the clouds above was visible for at least a mile. Just for kicks, I suppose.

_C1_4561These guys were having fun spinning their own lights just outside my apartment building. The next morning I went home for an early Thanksgiving. As is tradition, Christmas decorations came out after the big dinner.

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IMG_0451(She’s making little trees of a miniature village.)

My dad’s family gave me an early Thanksgiving because I’m heading to my mom’s in Arizona this week — should be a good time, and some places and people to photograph on the side.

Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving (or Christmas) or don’t, I hope this time of year brings you comfort and lights and good food. Thanks for looking.

Dan

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