Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Wonderland to LaSalette

Last Friday I drove with my husband and my two cousins Louise and Frank  through the Winter Wonderland  at Slater Park.  They are older but much more nimble than I am.  One small limitation they have is that they do not like to drive at night.  I am not yet bothered by the  night driving and I wanted to share the  display of lights and family devotion that is WINTER WONDERLAND in SLATER PARK.  We drove through and even in the slight drizzle the air was warm and we enjoyed seeing  the  hundreds of  decorated trees.  
Since my cousins are both long time Pawtucket residents, they  recognized many of the family names that are memorialized with the placard and  the pictures that some  families attach to the trees.

What a magnificent testimony that display is to not only  the real meaning of  Christmas which is to remember and   pray for all those who have made our lives possible and  love-filled--beginning  with the infant and his Holy Mother and leading up to our own mothers and fathers and all those  ancestors in between who  showed us the way  to eternity.  Christ famously said that in His Father's house there are many mansions.  And I think that he meant that there would be  a place prepared for all of us and that  is why the Xmas trees--so many and so differently decorated --reflect that spirit of inclusion.  There is an old Universalist Saying  GOD DID NOT MAKE SOULS TO LOSE THEM.  The mansions of   heaven will be myriad and they will be different but they will be there for each and every one of us--waiting for us. God must love difference because  He made each of us with our unique DNA and He wants  us to bring those diverse talents  tot he table of life.

After the joy of seeing Winter Wonderland I got a bit ambitious and decided to ask my cousins if they could also spare the time to   take a drive to the  shrine at LaSalette.  They agreed and with Frank's excellent directions we  followed back roads that were  new to me and we were there  in a short time.  We drove  into a dark parking lot and there were no lights. We could see  buses  lined up and some people were leaving their cars. I drove closer to one little family and  rolled down the window --
What happened to the lights?  I shouted  to them--they  come on at 5pm, they answered,
I looked at  my clock in the car and it read 4-48.  We counted down the two minutes and  suddenly the  old shrine was ablaze of light. And we  were struck with the beauty and drove around many times to see all the  nooks and crannies of that site.
It struck me  as an enactment of that night over 2000 years ago. It was dark and the  world was shrouded in longing  for its Creator and then it was a blaze of Light.  My Aunt Grace  displayed in her living room  that  famous painting of Christ as THE LIGHT  OF THE WORLD and here in our humble way  in Attleboro  we  saw it happen and  we were de-LIGHTED .

All the way home we talked about  the old days and the places on Main Street Pawtucket that we  remembered and  described.  How my Aunt Anna and her friend  Rita would go bowling and then stop at the  Windsor Diner.  Or Frank recalled Majestic Novelties -- a store  that he had  run. And I thought about  Thursday night Xmas shopping at Prescoe's and Shartenbergs and so many other details of our lives  filled with no cars-- just  bus rides and long walks--ALL IS CALM  ALL IS BRIGHT.

No comments:

Post a Comment