Share on Pinterest
Cyndi Monaghan/Getty Images

When I was always out and about, I didn’t give my home decor much thought — particularly when I was constantly moving apartments in New York. But nothing makes you aware of the importance of feeling comfortable in your space quite like spending over a year in social isolation.

No, I didn’t get the timing wrong. I say over a year because my isolation started a few months before the pandemic reached the U.S., in January 2020, when I ended up in the hospital due to my crushing headaches caused by something called idiopathic intracranial hypertension. My life came to a screeching halt. A former workaholic, I was forced to come to grips with reality: The breakneck speed at which I was previously moving was unsustainable; my questionable priorities were literally breaking me down.

It was time to slow down, breathe, and pay attention to my body for the first time in my life. Little did I know then, the world would give me no choice.

Prisms, also called suncatchers and feng shui crystals, come in different forms in cultures all over the world, but the most common is a faceted lead crystal sphere with a little hole to be hung with a string in your window. Prisms are beautiful on their own, but when the sun hits them is when they really show their brilliance. They can transform your whole space by covering it with tiny little rainbows.

OK, maybe “transform” is a little extreme, but that’s certainly how it feels to me.

During the pandemic, I’ve bought a beautiful glass coffee table, a rainbow rug that makes me smile whenever I look at it, and a bright yellow couch to match, but the addition that has really made my space feel quarantine-levels of livable were these two prisms my parents had just sitting on the window sill, waiting to be hung in a sunbeam.

And they’ve proven to be a small, inexpensive joy in my life every single day.

Every morning, as long as there’s even a hint of sun outside, I wake up surrounded by tiny rainbows, gifted to me by my bedroom prism. Then, I walk into my living room — which has its own prism — and happily gaze at the little rainbows all over the walls that match my rainbow rug.

They may just be two little crystals, but the light they cast every day reminds me to stay creative. After all, the world is, in a word, scary right now. The news sucks all the color out of me, filling me with a dark, heavy gray. There’s a virus with multiple strains ravaging our country as our new president scrambles to correct the mistakes of our old tyrant. Many of us aren’t sure when we’ll be able to see our loved ones again. At times, it feels impossible to make anything new when you’re weighed down by the hate and pain plaguing our world (along with a literal pandemic!).

But the clouds are beginning to dissipate. Vaccines are being distributed, and hope is on the horizon. And in the meantime, I’ve created my own little world of color while we wait for the sun.

Sammy Nickalls is a writer and editor who never shuts up about her feelings. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.