Black Jack hates walking in the rain, so when it stopped that evening, there was a spring in her step. We walked by 499 Drake Street, a building I pass every single day, but that night,
On the way home, we stopped by The Roundhouse. I hadn't taken a picture there for some time, but the green light on the path also had a magical feel about it.
On Friday morning, at about the time that I realized later the massacre of children was happening in Connecticut, I took Black Jack out, and marvelled at a silver light in the sky that was picked up by the water.
After our morning walk, I headed over the Cambie Bridge on my bike to take a gym class at City Square at 12th and Cambie. After the class, I heard the most beautiful brass quartet sound and looked over the railing to see a group of young Salvation Army musicians playing Christmas Carols. I'm not a "mall" sort of person at all, but with the ethereal blend of perfectly tuned and mellow tones, twinkling lights and festive decorations, there was, again, something spellbinding in the air.
I biked home, ate lunch, but didn't listen to any news because I wanted to get Black Jack out on this wonderfully dry day. We walked along the seawall, and then under the Burrard Bridge planning to cross it to meet Bill somewhere on the other side of the water. Four young people were learning a new manoeuvre on their skateboards. Two watched..
one filmed and the 4th worked on perfecting the move. Then, the four of them checked the video before the next one took his turn on the skateboard. They smiled when they saw I was taking pictures of them. I was impressed with their discipline and collaborative learning.
I was going to head up the steps to cross the bridge, but I looked back and saw a light breaking through a dark cloud and radiating over False Creek.
Against the wall under the bridge, these lovely flowers were blooming..
and I also took a moment to admire the community garden that a few people in the area maintain. The garden brings warmth and cheer to what would otherwise be a dismal place.
Then, we walked up the steps and onto the bridge.
There was a soft light in the sky..
that seemed to grow more beautiful as we headed down to a trail along the water.
and one of the sun on the downtown buildings across the water. Then we walked up to Point Grey Road where Bill picked us up. We came home, had supper, and..
headed right back outside for yet another walk around False Creek. I always love the night view around False Creek, but I don't think my photos..
have ever picked up so much of the sparkle.
Bill noticed this smile. It shone through the darkness.
Each step we took changed the view, and the sparkle seemed to become more brilliant as it followed us around False Creek.
There is a school beside the park, and three teachers were out with three different classes. The kids looked about the same age as Noah and Jack and Jessica and Charlotte and Grace and James and the other 14 children killed. The teachers were young, perhaps close in age to Lauren and Victoria, two of six teachers who died trying to save their students. The teachers and students were open-eyed in wonder and curiosity that their beloved False Creek had taken on a new look. I spoke to one teacher, thanking her for the "Happy Holidays" display prepared recently by a student. She promised to pass on the message.
Later in the afternoon, I returned to the same spot. The white railing is where the children had been standing and you can get a bit of an idea of just how high the water rose. There has been something different in the atmosphere lately. Call it what you will..
but I am choosing to see it as 27 light-and-energy-filled spirits and one very troubled one, all now sending us a message that we cannot let this pass without making some sense of it.
We cannot let those lives be lost in vain. I know I will remember them and though I may falter, I will strive to live kinder. In the mean time, my heart goes out, as I know all of ours do, to the parents and families and friends of each victim. May they find the strength to go on and may their loved ones rest in peace.
I searched through comforting music and nothing felt right until I came to this Beatles song called "Octopus's Garden." It is a happy song and may seem a strange choice, but many years ago, I spent four years teaching in an elementary school. I had groups of 6, 7 and 8-year-olds combined in one class. We had a large music room with multi coloured walls and a spacious floor where the kids could dance. The kids in that age group loved this song the best. I have a memory of all of us singing, with some clinging to my back, others sitting on my knee and still others dancing and skipping about the room as I played piano for them. As I moved on to high school teaching, I lost a bit of that happy spontaneity in the effort to prepare concerts and competitions. If ever I have the chance to teach again, I would try to bring back the unfettered exuberance and joy of those early days.
One final sound of children's voices to close this post. Many of you may have already heard these beautiful kids on Saturday Night Live. Thank you for letting me share my thoughts. To read about the worlds of other bloggers, you may want to take a look at the Our World Tuesday meme.