parade of lights

Even though it was only shortly after six o’clock in the evening, the journey to my brother’s sailboat felt slightly absurd. In summer months, with the sun blazing, it would hardly feel like evening at this hour. But on this December day–just a couple weeks before the solstice–we walked to the end of the Boston Harbor dock with flashlight in hand and passed our bags into the dinghy, under a sky cloaked with clouds. It was pitch black.

The reason for the evening runabout was the Olympia Yacht Club’s parade of lights–when a dozen or more boats make their way between Olympia and Boston Harbor, laden with lights and other Christmas decorations. This was the first time we ventured out to see the spectacle from the water. I was pleased it wasn’t raining; nor was it frigid.

We transitioned from the dinghy to the sailboat, started the motor, then released from the mooring to intercept the convoy of lights heading towards us. Motor boats, sailboats and tugs, were adorned with elegant strings of lights, animated fluorescents, and blow-up Santa and Frosty. Fireworks periodically erupted from shore, and boat skippers responded with approving toots from air horns.

While we were motoring about, the year’s last full moon began to peak its way out from behind the clouds. After a while, it was fully present–the Long Nights Moon brightened the sky.

And so here we were, celebrating the darkness and the lightness. Marveling over the colorful displays amid the monotone. Arriving in blackness and leaving under a cool white glow. We haven’t quite arrived at the solstice yet, but I do think there’s enough light to get us there.


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