The night before snow fell in Vancouver, we went to the Festival of Lights. Along with thousands of other people. It was cold, crisp, dry and crowded.
Every year, more and more are attracted to what seems to be becoming an increasingly commercialised event. Not that there's anything terribly wrong with that, though it isn't quite what I have in mind when I think of VanDusen Garden.
The lights are a spectacle and if a person can get away from the crowd, it can be quite breathtaking, though sometimes the brightest lights are reserved for the merchants of donuts, hot chocolate and more.
Hand warming devices are provided throughout the venue as this friendly visitor discovered. That would be the visitor on the left.
The spectacle that is the Festival of Lights has ventured into a tacky, tawdry kind of place. It doesn't reflect the peace and natural beauty the Garden offers throughout the rest of the year, the tranquillity that exists in simply spending time in quiet reflection. At this time of year, with crowds and noise everywhere, with the frantic hum of consumer spending imposed upon us at every turn, we could all use a little bit more of what the Garden really represents.
Photos by Jim Murray. Copyright 2013.