Newfields’ Winterlights are on display through Jan. 5. Photo by Meghan Stratton.
JESSICA LEE | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF | firstname.lastname@example.org
I was not excited to say the least. It had been a long week, each day stretched longer as Thanksgiving break remained tantalizingly out of reach. And that seemed to be the repeating mantra in my head: almost Thanksgiving break, almost Thanksgiving break, almost Thanksgiving break… so why was I going to Winterlights?
My Grinch-like thoughts did not seem to affect my managing editor Meghan Stratton as we approached Newfields. As she chattered about the lights, it became all-too obvious she fell on the other side of The Argument: Christmas starts as soon as Halloween ends. I, on the other hand, held the correct opinion that Christmas must wait its turn until Thanksgiving.
So why was I going to Winterlights?
Again, it all started with my Christmas-fanatic managing editor.
“SOOOOO can we go?” She emailed in the forwarded invite of the exclusive preview.
I should have known each capitalized and unnecessary “O” would only emphasize how merry and bright this event would be. And yet, I found myself revelling in the merriness and brightness.
I know, I know — where was my backbone? My love and dedication toward all Thanksgiving foods? But I could not resist the intricately decorated gates as they welcomed me across Snowflake Bridge and into their winter wonderland. I found myself humming along to Tchaikovsky as the choreographed lights mesmerized me. I craned my neck and didn’t mind the crick that formed, because I could stare at the changing icicle colors all night long. The walk through the Frosted Forest, with its arching branches of light, made me forget it was drizzling outside.
If you’re still with me, dear reader, and do not mind the total betrayal of my own principles, I’d like to indulge in my love for the music and sound effects. Because I may have loved the music more than the lights. The Ice Storm Walk was visually engaging, but what made it a complete experience was the sound of wind whipping through the tunnel and the chimes twinkling in response.
The best part of the Christmas music chosen, though, was that it was triumphant. Every note was a declarative statement, and with only strings and drums and woodwinds, you could fill in the words for yourself. My words? Enjoy this break, enjoy this time given, enjoy the lights. Be joyful.
Most of all, let these winter lights warm this shrivelled Grinch heart of mine.
Photos by Meghan Stratton