Monday, December 27, 2010

The In-Between Days

These are the days between Christmas and New Year that always seem like a combination of afterglow and anticipation to me. Christmas still lingers in decorations and greeting cards set out on the mantle. New Year's Day is right around the corner and already I am preparing a notebook in which to write resolutions and plans for 2011. A fresh start - it seems so full of wonder and possibility to me. I guess I am an optimist at heart, although I certainly have plenty of glass-half-empty days! But a new year can bring unimaginable changes, if we but dare to pursue them!
We have just returned from a few days spent in Toronto and Montreal with our daughter Kate. We started off at Kate's home in Toronto, where we visited her office and lab at OCAD university, had dinner at a restaurant/pub called 'The Queen Mother' and went to a wonderful production of 'The Nutcracker' at the Four Seasons Centre for the performing arts.

The following day, we took a five hour train trip, much of it along Lake Ontario, to Montreal. There is something so relaxing about a train ride, and I spent much of the time reading and embroidering. (I'll share some of that in a later post.) Kate had packed us a lovely lunch and we rode in comfortable companionship, enjoying our time together. 

In Montreal, we ate delicious food, walked a great deal and visited the Planetarium De Montreal, where we saw a terrific show called 'The Longest Night of the Year' about the winter solstice and the origins of many Christmas customs and myths. On Christmas eve, we went to the Basilica of Notre-Dame, which was a short walk from our hotel. (click on photos to enlarge)
Horse drawn carts were taking travelers on a merry ride,
and the front of the basilica was graced by three glowing angels, heralding the festive season.
Once inside, we sat in the front row of the balcony, and watched as the basilica slowly filled with people from many countries, and children dressed in their best finery. Christmas carols in French filled the vast space and, once Mass began, the lighting changed and the huge altar became a warmer and more welcoming place.
Little children in robes reenacted the nativity story
and a huge basilica became an intimate space.
It was a beautiful evening.
When we arrived home Sunday, snow was just beginning to accumulate at Logan Airport in Boston.We were lucky to get an earlier flight than planned, because the storm has left us with about 15 inches of snow!
All's well that ends well. It was a lovely holiday!
I hope that each person who reads this has enjoyed a happy holiday season!
Looking forward to the New Year!


Lyn said...

At least you are doing something lovely in between Christmas and New year (I am just cleaning!) looks so beautiful, hope the snow doesn't cause you too much trouble.
wishing you and yours a happy and healthy 2011

Kay said...

What a lovely post. You described the in-between time beautifully. I always think it's sad when people take down the decorations so quickly. Montreal would be a lovely place for Christmas--what great pictures.

Libby Fife said...

What a beautiful cathedral! Who wouldn't want to worship there? So glad that you had a great trip. It looks like it was a lot of fun.

Morph Waffle said...

Beautiful pictures! It sounds like you had a lovely holiday. Have a great New Year!

Simone said...

Happy New year to you and your family Judy. x

Anne Butera said...

Your pictures are so beautiful. What a wonderful, awe inspiring place the basilica is.

I'm so glad you had a great Christmas with your husband and daughter.