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Winter Wonderland

A group of us went to the Global Winter Wonderland Festival in Sacramento on Saturday night. There were acres of huge translucent cloth sculptures, all lit from within, some set up so that you could walk through them. The beautiful glow and color was reminiscent of walking through an anime film. They not only depicted traditional holiday fare like gingerbread men and reindeer; but enormous peacocks, whales, swans, lions, mushroom and pumpkin forests, a tree of life, castles, a pirate ship with mermaids, a gigantic octopus, a mandarin, and a mosque.

People of all ages strolled by, rode Ferris wheels and merry-go-rounds, exclaimed over the wonders surrounding them, and watched amazing acrobats perform on ice skates. Children laughed and played. Bubble machines cascaded the crowds with soap bubbles to chase and pop. In one elf and snowman area, a snow machine produced gently falling snow.

Everywhere I went I heard people full of joy and delight. Again and again I heard, "I wish we could live here!" and "I'm so Happy!" Being the philosophy student I am, I asked person after person how they felt and what they thought. Every single person (even those who looked solemn or grumpy) reported feeling happy and light-hearted. Many said their winter depression was gone. No one displayed impatience and anger. I looked for it, but no. Everyone was jolly and polite, or at least kind.How was this possible with hundreds and hundreds of people in one place? It's amazing what color, light and artistry can do to lift the spirit.

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