I’ll Leave the Light On
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Crimes to the Third Degree.
Sometime past midnight, I am sitting at my computer, making some last-minute changes to “Dark Revelations” and focused completely on the work and nary a thought of anyone else or anything else. Just finishing the line edits and getting them back to my editor in New York.
I get a flash of something that surprises me. All of a sudden, I feel it…see it. Outside my house, somewhere between twilight and night and only a few steps my front door. I can see it. My door. Green, the way I repainted it in that light turquoise color and with peach-colored bricks around the entrance.
I feel myself moving forward, and I’m either riding on this man’s shoulders or riding in the back of his mind. I tend to think the latter because I feel a tremendous sense of anticipation and excitement in the pit of his stomach.
There’s surprise, too. He isn’t expecting my door to be green. He’s thinking it’s some other color. The gray it used to be before the planters of orange and purple flowers arched over the doorway.
He’s close to my door—only two strides or less and he’ll be there. Already I feel his arm lifting, reaching out, either to knock or to press the doorbell. He doesn’t realize yet that the doorbell is broken.
More compelling than the physical advancement I feel is the flash of emotion. The excitement. Anticipation. Intensity.
I jump up from the computer and run to the door. I turn on the light outside and peer through the window beside the door. No one’s there. I turn off the outside light but leave the light in the foyer on.
I go back to my work, back to the last pages of the project and my bright red pen. But I can’t work.
There’s still a sensation of someone walking to my door—anxious, wanting, excited.
I run back to the front door and flip on the light outside, then swing the door wide as I walk out. I stare up at the disseminating moon almost directly overhead. There’s a bit of chill in the air but it feels good.
Just as I turn to walk back inside, at the exact spot where I felt his hand rise to knock at my door, there is a huge beautiful pale green luna moth. I haven’t seen one in 20 years, at least.
I run inside to grab my camera, turning out the lights as I go. I’ve heard luna months can glow in the dark.
As a totem, its message is one of changes, and of life lifting up. A symbol of transformation, and in a much lighter way than in the past.
Moths are attracted to flame, to light. Perhaps the moth sensed the light in my house and that’s what drew him to my window. But the light is out, and by the time I return with the camera, the moth is gone.
I turn my light back on. It’s an invitation.