Basilica Notre-Dame, Montreal
A couple of days ago we went to Canadian Tire to buy some things like, oh, self-threading metal screws, and we became entranced by the aisles, and aisles, of Christmas lights and decorations. There were a LOT of lights, different kinds than we're used to. And as it turned out, we were in the market for lights.
On the drives up here last winter, we kept seeing some bright, elaborate lights on Quebec houses and shrubbery. Our favorites were an intense blue that we'd never seen back home in Vermont. Blue isn't a hugely popular Christmas color back there, in the land of Christmas postcards and white clapboarded houses and church steeples. In fact, the only really acceptable color is white. And tiny. But we felt like, well, going for a more intense effect. We wondered, though, what was the deal with the blue?
The other night we were driving to a friend's for dinner and happened to pass by the Basilica. There were small Christmas trees on the street outside the portico - all lit with deep blue lights - and up in the towers, the same ethereal blue -- ghostly, glowing, mysterious --as behind the altar inside the cathedral. Later, when we were eating dinner, we mentioned this. Why was blue so popular in Quebec? Was it the color of the fleur-de-lys flag? There were two Anglican priests at the table and they mused about it for a minute, and then one said, "Well, blue IS the color associated with Mary."
Oh yeah. I had forgotten; I guess it just goes to show that I am Anglican and not Catholic.
In any case, we have blue lights now, wrapped around an evergreen garland on the fireplace mantle. Intense blue LED lights. Every now and then, J. looks over at them and says, solemnly, "the mystery."
Note: tomorrow is Blog Against Racism Day. I'll be participating; hope you will too, in your own posts or in comments.