It's easy at Christmas to get caught up in the whirl, the perpetual-motion machine that blurs light and bends time in the quest for fuel for the spirit. Sometimes the whirl is the gift, for when we finally dizzy enough, we stop and see the positive constant, and know that they are our world.
These photographs were taken at Bright Nights, celebrating its 15th year in Springfield's Forest park. The amazing drive-through light display is open nightly through January 2. For more information visit brightnights.org or call 413-733-3800.
For some Western Massachusetts sons and daughters, Christmas morning will break in the mountains of Afghanistan or the sandy stretches of Iraq. Some will wake up on the divided Korean peninsula or at sea, water to the horizon. The gift of freedom, this precious thing they bring us everyday, makes Christmas possible.
The temptation for every curious child is to peek at what will be laid under the tree, to know what is coming...gifts are tucked away, hidden in closets and attics and nooks and crannies. It is no less a draw for the curious adult, to anticipate the future hidden in yet-unlived days. To look for the magic that may be.
Ah, Christmas! Packages and paper, bows and ribbons: Boxes of love exchanged with joy.
What makes your heart smile? Is it gatherings of family and friends? A hot cocoa on a cold winter night? A meeting under mistletoe? Is it wrapping gifts to Bing's serenade? Or perhaps the warmth that washes over you when you hear the laughter through frosted windows as you approach a house filled with the ones you love. Is it a decoration drawn from a box of memories to hang another year on the tree? Or a newborn in your arms? What makes your heart smile? That is Christmas.
And so the season ends, yes, but the spirit remains for us to call up at will throughout the year. Hope and happiness, consideration and generosity know no calendar, no day, no hour. They are gifts imbued in the human soul, gems to be taken out and handled everyday and admired for their beauty. Shared treasure sparkles brightest.
Merry Christmas everyone!