A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Glimpse of the Past--Or of the Future?

Saturday nights in the summer can get pretty lively in my neighborhood. The rumble and squeal of motorcycles increases as the club district starts to heat up. Sirens are more frequent after midnight. But late afternoon is the calm before the storm, especially when it's as hot as today.

The sound I was hearing from my kitchen window around suppertime was definitely not a typical Saturday sound. Well, maybe back when the streets were still cobblestone. It was a clip clop, clip clop, coming from the other side of the park.

I grabbed my camera and bopped out the front door and down the street, and when I got to the Apremont Triangle, this is what I saw. A horsedrawn carriage with a wedding party inside. I followed it down Bridge Street as far as the Salty Dog Saloon, the little flower girl beaming proudly at me the whole way.

This carriage comes from Hollow Brook Farms in Brimfield. HBF is a picturesque rural setting for, among many other things, an outdoor wedding ceremony complete with horse and carriage. For a wedding planned somewhere else, the horse and carriage will travel....and that's what I was witnessing.

Horse-drawn carriages are a common sight around Central Park and in European capitals. Not in Springfield...but they could be. If this city would take itself seriously as a destination point--particularly as a city of transportation firsts--the carriages would be back, I'm sure.


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