METRO PLUS

Lights, lights, graces on earth

Luminarios at the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe, the State of New Mexico, U.S.A

Luminarios at the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe, the State of New Mexico, U.S.A  

YEAR BY year, these Christmas Stars have gleamed in the heart of Kochi. Year by year, now, coloured bulbs bloom at night; lights play among the trees as music flows. Infant Jesus will be born very soon in every home bringing cheer, love and hope.

Every culture eastern or western, ancient or modern carries the glory of lights in its heart. A pagan celebration of lights merged into Christmas lights when Rome accepted ChristianityOn the other side of the globe, luminarios bloom in the snow. Nestled among the pine-studded foothills of the Rockies, at an altitude of 7000 feet above sea level lies Santa Fe, Holy Faith, one of the oldest cities of the U.S, that showcases its Spanish connection and the resultant traditions. Against the backdrop of undulating snow-covered gleaming land stands St Michaels, the oldest church of the United States, in the middle of the Plaza. And it was millennium Christmas for tourists from all over the world. The mall was a sight: an artificial lake of snow glistened and Santa Clause carried children in his sledge. The smiling children lived a legend as their parents photographed them with Santa Clause. And a million promises beckoned them. Christmas swayed in lighted splendours. Cars heading towards Canyon Road moved at a snail's pace. Soon the fur-clad crowd walked along the road, moving at a leisurely pace in an otherwise trotting America. They sauntered along the street with their old in wheel chairs, their children in prams, and their dogs trailing behind. They stood in biting cold around bonfires for warmth singing Christmas carols. Slowly electric lights gave way to luminarios: flickering candles in hooded lanterns on the ground spraying light around. The Palace of the Governors and the oldest Capitol building in the United States, are the focal points of Spanish culture consciously kept alive as the storehouse of their history. The old world charm lingered in and around the Palace, along the deep, long canyon in that snowy evening... .

An icy wind blew; it grew cold. People vanished; cars buzzed. Removing the heavy coat and gloves, basking in the warmth of the car-heater I sat watching a miracle: a magical outpouring from the heavens that touched the mystic realms of my soul. It began to snow... a million fairies came dancing down in their transparent parachutes. The whole scenario changed in seconds. Some one had shaken my kaleidoscope! The darkness melted into white; the lighted land dimmed and faded like the starry firmament at noon. The velvet glow of icy blue brightened a winter wonderland!

We drove through the falling snow our minds serenading the mystique of beauty. It was a world of enchantment. Up, up, far away millions of stars twinkled winter bright. Down below, millions of lights glowed in virgin snow. The lights played an ethereal tune with my heart the drummer; my soul went up in a whirling dance. And flights of singing angels came down to meet— my luminarios. Year by year the lighted land locks the sea from Santa Fe to Kochi and Christ walks the waves under the starry sky amidst lights, lights, graces on Earth!

PADMA JAYARAJ

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