Sunday, August 02, 2009

Amidst the throng

Summertime in Vancouver means fireworks. Several hundred thousand people swarmed to the beaches to take in the Celebration of Lights, an annual international pyrotechnic competition. That's several hundred thousand each night of the competition. Estimates were that over the four nights of the event, approximately 1.4 million people went to root for the pyrotechnic teams from Canada, the UK, South Africa, and China this year.

My father is of the ilk that says a fireworks competition is a waste of money, akin to burning paper bills. I, however, am a believer in the transitory magic, the beauty that passes in the blink of an eye. Through the years, I have become more familiar with the jargon used to describe the various kinds of rockets and bombs. I've been told that red and green fireworks are common, but that blue displays are rare.

Part of me has lost that naive wonderment. I wait and watch for the blue stars and fountains. When I see them spin and whirl, I tell myself that I'm witnessing a "girandole." I have to work to suppress that part of my brain that analyzes the colour schemes and arrangements in order to just ooooh and aaaah whole-heartedly.

But, when the shells and rockets and mines and roman candles all explode together in their grand symphonic finale, my brain effectively shuts off and my heart takes over. I gaze up over the tops of heads, not wanting to blink for fear of missing something. The small child in me surfaces, straining to catch the fairy pyrotechnic dust that falls from above. And when it's over, a trace of that small child remains, pulsates, walks along the sidewalk with a lilt in her step, amidst the throng of several thousand people on a warm summer night.

1 comment:

  1. I miss seeing the fireworks. It's nice to see them on your blog!