Coming on Christmas

img_2695Nights of A Thousand Candles”-Brookgreen Gardens-Litchfield Beach, South Carolina

Ten minutes from my house is a hidden gem.  Acres of protected ancient oaks, flowing ponds with magnificent mythical sculpture in bronze and stone, wild-life in natural habitat, gardens-wild to formal and a huge butterfly pavilion lays nestled along the Waccamaw River.  Weekend nights in December, the gardens are transformed into a magical world of light and music that literally fills the senses and soul to bursting.

My family and I spent an evening bundled up, our grand-daughter in her stroller, with red noses from the cold, walking down the garden’s paths. Each gate we entered was a thrill: floating candles on ponds reflecting miniature lights from over-hanging oaks teased us until we gazed into the distance at what was to come! Music drifted through the brilliance as just beyond the next gate the bronze likeness of Pan and his flute shone gilded in brightness.

In the center of the garden was the 80 foot Christmas tree with carolers singling all around. We were there for the countdown for the lighting. All at one-wow-an incredible burst of thousands of miniature colored light came ablaze! Children ran around the magnificent Tannenbaum laughing and jumping. Parents clapped and elders in wheelchairs raised their hands with joy. Our little one said, “pretty!” from her stroller.

As we made our way back toward the front gate, the brilliance did not diminish, only changed. A fairyland of softness greeted us at every turn with the accompanying gentle sound of garden waters from overflowing ancient ponds carrying upon them floating flickering candles. In the distance was the sweet music of Christmas.

For me, my birthday always means that it’s coming on Christmas. This year it was very special.

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