Ice sculptures and the fleeting beauty of the season

The ice sculptures that lined College Avenue last weekend stood as perfect metaphors for the season they represented — beautiful, pure, and so very, very fleeting.

Unseasonable warmth seeped into the pieces shortly after the artists carved them. It cracked smooth panes and rendered some south facing sculptures quickly unrecognizable.

I thought it was a shame as I wandered past them, shooting pictures that weren’t lit right because I knew if I waited for the sun, the art might melt away entirely.

In a perfect Christmas season, the sculptures decorate the Avenue for days.

But, not every Christmas season is perfect, and maybe that’s the point.

Some years, you burn the potatoes or misspell a word on your greeting cards. You slip on the ice and drop a whole bag of groceries. Your tree crashes to the floor.

Maybe, you face challenges even more profound — the loss of a job or a loved one, a terrible diagnosis, a painful rift.

Then you might tell yourself that all the hauling, decorating, shopping, wrapping, baking, sending, and receiving is not worth the effort. Why carve an ice sculpture that will melt so quickly in the sun?

But Christmas magic lives in moments and such transience only increases its value. The trick, of course, is to find the time to enjoy them, to sit in a dark room and admire a lighted Christmas tree, to linger at an extended dining room table, to watch a small child shake a wrapped Christmas present, to admire a shimmering sculpture on a Sunday afternoon.

Real life waits on the other side of this holiday season, so let’s all enjoy the magic while we can.

Here’s hoping you find a Christmas miracle or two this year.

Merry Christmas from Molly B and Me.

Stockings were hung
It may be melting, but the point is the stockings were hung by the chimney with care.
Thumpety, thump, thump. Thumpety, thump, thump. Look at Frosty go.
Oh Christmas tree
The sun that challenged the south facing sculptures also turned this Christmas tree into a lacy wonder.
snowman frosty
But he waved good-bye saying, “Don’t you cry. I’ll be back again some day.”
One armed dancer
Dance, then, wherever you may be. I am the lord of the dance said he. (Even with a missing arm.)
Melting harp
A lacy Gabriel and his shining harp.
I really think the chinks in this nativity scene make it even more beautiful.


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