During our move from a house to a condo in November 2010, we discovered a nearby Chinese restaurant. It was open late and was convenient for those late-night dinners we often needed.
During the fall and winter we got used to its kitschy decor, including year-round Christmas lights, plastic flowers, tall ficus trees and hanging plants. The latter could have been real or fake, until we noticed the leaves turning yellow and falling down. I wondered how the trees and plants could survive in such a dark environment.
One day in March 2011, we came for dinner and were surprised to notice a skylight in the centre of the ceiling.
"You put in a new skylight," I observed to our waiter. "We like skylights." We told him about the tromp l'oeil skylight which we had painted on a canvas and attached to the ceiling of a first-floor room of our former house.
"But the skylight isn't new," he said. "It's always been here."
Then we realized that, when the sky was dark in the winter, we couldn't see the skylight. During spring's longer days we could see light shining through the skylight.
Revising a manuscript can be like that. For a long time everything looks bleak and dark. But one day, the sun shines through and you can finally see the beauty that always was there.