I know that I have mentioned more than once that our house in Heidelberg is on top of a hill. There are two ways up to the house, and correspondingly – two ways from the terrace to the street level parking.
There is a multi-section flight of stairs totally 60 in number from the street, through the front gate and along the house on the right side of the property. As long as it is not pouring rain or knee deep in snow, climbing the stairs any time of day doesn’t seem to be a problem. There are the stairs, there are several landings on the way up and there are railings. I know where those steps are and going up them can be done on auto pilot. It is fairly easy to anticipate the next step.
Coming back home from dropping off friends this evening I once again noticed the outdoor lighten phenomena. Going up the stairs, the lights are on the left and shine down and across the stairs throwing the steps into sharp relief. I can see where I am going.
Leaving the house, which translates to going down the stairs is a completely different issue. Those lights are on my right side going down the stairs. They are shining down the stairs, if one is willing to dignify those pale few lumens as outdoor lighting. The dark yellow-orange glow from the lamps looks malevolent; failing to provide my eyes the clues needed for a three dimensional vision of the steps. I descend slowly and carefully, unable to distinguish the edge of the step visually from the one directly below. Each flight appears flat to my eyes. Those last few steps before the gate are the most treacherous curving to the right while absent the security of a railing.
Now, since the lights had been on for the 15 minutes I had been gone I am be willing to believe that these evil lights are of the new energy saving kind which take a while to warm up and provide light. Since this time I didn’t turn them off and back on in a futile attempt to decrease the number of times we have to spend a day fighting the fixtures to replace burned out bulbs.
Perhaps I am more dark adapted on return? But really, I think it is a sad but safe conclusion that I am getting older and just don’t see as well.
It seems like a good excuse anyway. It explains the challenge of reading menus, difficulty in locating food on the plate, or attempting knitting in the average evening restaurant. It also provides a rationale for me stumbling through the house at night, not seeing the stuff that is lying there just waiting for the opportunity to maim me.
Shall we skip over the part about this not being any different now than when we bought the house in 2001? Or that I have been complaining about restaurants for years?
Nah – I am just looking for an excuse to explain those dropped stitches in the shawl that came to the Saturday afternoon Stricktreff at Red.