Down at the Dana Point Harbor, there is an independent coffee shop called Coffee Importers. Every holiday they hang beautiful red and gold star paper lanterns from the rafters in their patio area. The illuminated lamps create a bazaar of glowing color, and it is difficult to stop staring at them.
Last year, inspired by their beauty, I ordered a few, especially colorful ones, online. I hung them in a rather dull corner and sent pictures to a friend. She immediately requested the website and ordered her own. I draped them from the ceiling at my parents' home last Christmas, and they are now asking when I am coming back to rehang them. I put them up for my birthday, and my guests wanted to know where I got them. I've even seen them in neighbor's windows.
There is a unique and universal appreciation for these paper star lanterns one does not often see in life. Everyone loves them.
How can they not be part of a Life Well-Lived? Looking at a constellation of star lanterns, soaking in their beauty, and sharing your appreciation with others. How lovely.
Perhaps creating a star lamp garden might be a charming way to nourish your soul for the holidays...
P.S. My favorite lantern spots are: Whirled Planet and Quasimoon.
M.J. Minerman writes for spinsters around the world who have "not found their lids and are pursuing lives well-lived."