I really had to sit and think about this one. There have been so many beautiful places I have been privileged to see in my life time, from Virginia to New York City to London to Texas.
But I decided to go local. And I’m keeping the place name a secret to see if anyone from my neck of the woods can guess!
It’s always best to walk when there is a little chill in the air. Walking around when it’s too hot or when it’s bitter cold compels you to turn inward to grumble with yourself about your discomfort. Or, conversely, to indulge in self praise…aren’t you so wonderful for enduring the climate!
But I say again, it’s best to walk when there is a little chill in the air. Just enough to merit a light jacket or sweater into which you can stick your hands inside to rest comfortably as you stroll around gazing up at the white lights.
The place is ablaze with clear, white lights hung in every tree. The lights make a little jingling sound as they hit against each other in cool breeze. You are surrounded by light and color, but it’s not garish. You won’t find a lot of silly pinks or stuck up purples, no brazen yellows or raucous lime greens. The colors are limited to clear white with the occasional deep red or regal silver and golds. Once in a while you are stuck by a frosty blue, but it seems to fit in and doesn’t make you pause and turn while headed across the paved walkway.
The shops windows are eye catching. Occasionally you have to stop just to admire the ingenuity of someone you will never meet who, using perhaps an old teapot and throw pillow next to a pair of shoes, made you remember something you had long forgotten. Then you walk on hoping the next window will be as intriguing. A bit of advice here, if you take this walk, going into the shops will ruin the experience. When you go in you reduce yourself to consumer only instead of explorer…remember that.
There are a few people out walking and looking with you. Some are parents trying to get their children to stop climbing on the tall wooden nutcrackers which stand on guard at the corners. But you know it’s useless for all their trying. What child wouldn’t want to be close to a real Christmas icon?
Of course, you know by now this place is all done up for Christmas. The holiday theme is everywhere and yes, a lot of people find it overwhelming. “It’s too much! Too many lights, too many stereotypical fir trees and too many antiquated images!”, they bellow. So don’t walk with them.
But I love it, this place at Christmas. It’s like walking into a picture book or a holiday magazine. You are close, but still on the outside. You get to see how light shows up against darkness and cold. To me this place calls to mind so many little bits of diamonds thrown onto a black, velvet background. And if you’re lucky you can find the bench by the old clock which now has a bright red bow tied in the middle. You can sit on this bench and watch the people pass by, lost in their memories of what Christmas used to be.