The magic begins to work on the heart, with the first step in the climb up the hill, crowning Cambria's East Village. It quickly reaches the mind as one recalls the wrap of sound, image and memory that are so delicately woven in this special place on this special night.
Lana is quick to tell that this night, the Candlelight Concert is the highlight of her year, let alone this festive season.For almost 150 years the Chapel has been aglow above our village tucked between the Pacific and the Monterey Pine and Oak forests of the Santa Lucia Mountains. Readers of LightBreezes have received impressions since 2011.
There is a moment in this traditional evening when time melts and when emotions and feelings and your sensory memories glide into a kind of current and all that you've ever known of Christmas and family are there in your head and heart as the sweet music and narrative write even more code.
Judith Laramore's annual Reflections open those portals with her exquisite narrative. This year recalling a cold and drafty winter on Hoot Owl Lane outside Bluffton Indiana, my mother's hometown, was a literary Norman Rockwell for the soul. Colorful and vivid scenes, family gatherings, visits to aunt Norma and uncle Charles on Chicago's Lake Shore drive and the special place in her heart for Aunt Lois created a homily to the nurturing love of family at the holidays. They are universal memories.
And of course there is the music and the magnificent players arranged by the renown Brynn Albanese who makes the violin an instrument of love.
We were treated to a world premier of sorts. John Neufeld, a Cambrian arranged and Orchestrated almost all of John Williams movie compositions for decades. He did an innovation on Ave Maria for this special night on the hill in our little village.
Before the Farewell, blend of instrument and voice, Bruce Black again told tales of family humor and treated us all to the annual Twas The Night Before Christmas.
And so, Christmas has come again, and the magic of the season has been lit by the candles glowing in an historic chapel, flowing from a hill top mixed with sweet music and memory, a place where life and dream weave.
See you down the trail, in Ireland.