Saturday, March 25, 2017

Equinox Bonfire on Ward's Island

This Vernal Equinox -- first day of spring -- Bill and I attended the Ward's Island Christmas tree bonfire.
We waited for our boat with friends at the venerable Toronto ferry dock.
There is always a feeling of release when we leave the city behind and set off for the Island.
Winds were wild on the crossing, leading to much rocking of the boat and an exciting docking.
In the park facing the dock Christmas trees had been hung from the largest tree to mark the route leading to the Beach and the Equinox celebration.
More discarded Christmas trees lined the route and participants dragged them into a big pile on the beach.
Kids darted in and out of the boughs like colourful birds.
Shelley and Bill with trusty cameras.
A band of Island residents led the celebration. They took position outside the circle of blackbird plaques that bordered the central bonfire.
We met our friend, Eric, who said, "Whenever there is a pagan celebration on the Island I know I'll run into you people!"
As the day turned to dusk the romantic setting encouraged quiet reflection,
observation (that's me in green)
and contemplation of the future.
A dapper young man in matching hat and sweater oversaw fire safety
as participants approached the bonfire with their trees.
As the sun set, the crowd glowed in the light of the flames
and cheered as each new tree was added.
It got quite psychedelic
as the winds fuelled the flames
which soared into the sky.
The trees were so dry that they were entirely stripped by the flames within a few minutes.
We were glad to be invited back to our friend Q's cottage for mugs of hot soup and homemade pizza -- a perfectly cozy ending to an exciting evening.
We were happy and tired as we returned to the ferry dock. Happy Spring, everybody!