I was as enthralled as a child as I (and six other adults in my family) viewed the annual display of lights at Callaway Gardens. I tried to photograph parts of scenes along the five-mile trip through the gardens, but the “Jolly Trolley” we were riding on bounced too much for me to hold the camera steady enough to get sharply-focused photographs. So, for much of the time, I “took pictures with my eyes” and stored them in my mind rather than on an SD card.
But the few “keepers” I took with my camera trigger a mental slideshow of other elements in the 15 dazzling scenes along the route we followed that chilly night in early December. For example, I can visualize “Christmas Tree Lane” and the frogs in “Nature’s Wonderland” and other magical subjects created by the 8 million lights.
I loved “Snowflake Valley” that depicted softly swirling snowflakes, all much bigger than in life and some really, really huge. But my favorite scene of all was “The Nativity,” located near the entrance/exit of the trolley. After having spent the better part of an hour enjoying various sights and sounds associated with the Christmas season, I appreciated all the more the reverence I felt as I stood quietly and looked at the story of Christ’s Birth, beautifully told by the lights. It’s an age-old story, the story of the blessed night when God became flesh in the form of the Baby born in Bethlehem; yet it’s a story that is always sweet and precious, whether told with words or with lights.