There are two Americas. There’s the 24-hour news cycle and then there is the quotidian energy of the country. I never watch television, so the latter America naturally enthrals me.
On Saturday night I was lucky enough to be in old Germantown where, on a glorious autumnal evening, the streets were lit up with revelry and sheer creative joy. It was Fun Day at Germantown Friends School and the climax was a new event. A guest fine arts’s teacher came up with a novel celebration. Every student had to make a paper later, held up on poles, and lit by small LED lights. From 6-18 year students produced a true kaleidoscope of hanging globes and tubular paper bulb holders – all decorated. The artist came up with a paper tiger on wheels topped by a whirling tree of lamps.
To the sound of drums, rhythmically beating out a pace, thousands of us in the twilight ambled around a city block showing off our blaze of light. Small and old, this was an occasion for everyone to feel part of a community and to take huge pleasure in its resplendent joy.
The smiles were as bright as the lights, and on every corner crowds cheered. All so simple and so wonderfully creative.