Lamplighter

Avila 2008 207

Gas Lamps

When I was very young, a long time ago, in Swansea, many of our streets still had gas lamps.  The lamp-lighter would appear in winter around three or three-thirty to light those lamps. I remember him walking up the street with his long pole over his shoulder, moving from lamp to lamp. We had one outside our front door. He would turn on the gas, then light the lamp from the lighted wick at the end of his pole.  Sometimes he carried a ladder with him. Then, every so often, when the lamp needed tending, he would climb the ladder and adjust the wick. These gas lights were not very bright but they stood out like light houses between stretches of darkness and we would walk from pool to glowing pool, as if they were stepping stones leading us up the hill to home. We all knew the lamplighter and he would often wave to us as we sat in the front room window to watch him walk by. We rarely saw him in the mornings when he came back to turn off the lamps. We were all tucked safely into our beds. I remember that I wanted to be lamplighter. Later I realized that there are many ways to light a lamp and spread brightness through the world. When I grew up, I became teacher, a coach, a faculty adviser, a mentor, a creator, and those roles allowed me to establish myself as a lighter of a very different set of lamps.

 

 

4 thoughts on “Lamplighter

  1. When I was a child living six miles from Chipman, Queens County, NB, there were no lights to light our way. We could see lamplight shining through the windows of the three houses that were probably an eighth of a mile from our house. We really appreciated moonlight.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I remember those days too, Robert. We had a summer bungalow at the end of a long, unlit lane filled with looming shadows and night sounds: very spooky at times. Every so often, we would meet the farmer’s cows coming up or down that lane. Then we had to jump for the hedgerow, pdq! Good to see you here Robert and thanks for commenting.

      Like

  2. Hi, Roger, This is the best post you’ve offered in a while! Cheers, Chuck

    On Mon., May 18, 2020, 7:10 a.m. rogermoorepoet, wrote:

    > rogermoorepoet posted: ” Gas Lamps When I was very young, many of our > streets still had gas lamps. The lamp-lighter would appear in winter > around three or three-thirty to light those lamps. I remember him walking > up the street with his long pole over his shoulder, moving from ” >

    Liked by 1 person

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