Sunday, October 07, 2007


For some time I have heard about the Waterfire [or Firewater?] event in Providence, R.I. on their rconstructed downtown river/canal. I heard it was beautiful. Perhaps if I had seen a video I would have been able to imagine it but I did not so I was curious. Antoninette, who I met on my recent trip lives in Providence and wrote suggesting I come see it in October, the last month it will happen this year. I had not been to Cape Cod all summer either so I combined seeing Rachel and famly and then seeing Waterfire. I'm afraid the pictures give really no sense of what it is like. Antoninette had said it is like a street festival with food, performers, music and crowds Right in spae. I think we may have been there at the very best time. Rachel drove me to Providence because she had wanted to see it also. A. warned us the city would be extra crowded with people from a breast cancer run.
She found out a bit later that the breast cancer group were going to do a parade from the State House to the Waterfire bearing torches. Really by happenstance, trying to find the best vantage among a huge crowd, we were in a spot to see the parade which was not "a few" torches but 400? 500? 600? women marching holding torches and circling the main basin in which multiple fires were burning on the water -- burning very fiercely [dry wood possibly soaked in something else flammable] We saw torches in a very, very long procession come down the hill and then march around among the huge crowd as music was being played. It was a very numinous rite.

When they had all marched down and gone on. we wandered through the throngs, saw a spectacular fire juggler/eater, living statues, more fires further along the river, crowds of people at the food booths. It was, indeed, a festival. Then A. gave us a lovely liight supper before Rachel drove back to the Cape. [More about what may be the last lovely weekend of beach weather tomorrow] This morning A. showed me around that dignified and lovely little city -- full of wonderful houses from the turn of the century through the '50s in enormous variety ... her house, too, was wonderful. It reminds me that there is much to discover virtually beneath my nose, for I have gone through/past Providence many, many times in the last 40 or so years but really had not seen what it's like.

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