My daughter was much younger at the time, and we lived in a different house then. It was the last house at the end of a short street. The ground sloped off beyond the trees at the end of the road, leaving the house situated at the top of a high hill with a nice view of the town’s twinkling lights. Amid these other lights, there was a beacon composed of three red lights that had particularly caught my daughter’s interest. Because the lights formed the three points of an upside-down triangle, my daughter somehow got it into her head that this beacon was an angel watching over the town. Whenever we pulled out of the driveway that winter, she would brush the frost off the back window of the car and watch the beacon as we drove away.
As the months rolled by, I fell into a kind of slump, a listless stretch of grey afternoons passing without motivation. As the weather began to warm up and the days were growing longer, I decided that it might lift my spirits if I took my daughter out to find her angel. So I took her little hand and we went for a walk, navigating through different neighborhoods and side streets. We passed kids playing in dusty front yards while their parents smoked and talked on porches, heard ragged mufflers and car radios fade into the distance, all the lonely, drowsy, sadness of a summer evening in a strange part of town.
It was nearly dusk when we finally arrived at the source of the beacon. The lights were mounted on a tall metal tower that sat in the middle of a muddy clearing. The sun was scorching, low and bright at the edge of this clearing. We shaded our eyes and stumbled down a rocky embankment. I was just about to point the tower out to my daughter, so that in my fatherly, almost spiteful, way I could disillusion her, show her the truth about her “angel”, that it was just a plain metal tower in a dirty field. But as we stood at the base of it, and I craned my neck to look up, I noticed that the scaffolding which supported the lights actually looked a little like a pair of wings. I almost chuckled, but yet there was something about the way the light hit it at that hour and the white puffs of clouds in the sky above, that made me stop, that made everything stop, quiet and wonderful, and for a moment, even I believed.