In September of 2013, I sat on a red and black couch in an apartment in Baku and scrolled through pictures of a lantern release that had taken place in downtown Grand Rapids. It was an entry for Art Prize, and it made me feel lonely and homesick, knowing I would have been there if only I was home. It's the strangest things that inspire the deepest homesickness while living overseas. A friend's excited anticipation of a blizzard while you melt away in a desert. The flood of a hometown river that is lapping at homes and downtown stores while you gaze at the oil-slicked Caspian Sea. A release of lanterns in a cool autumn sky during an annoyingly hot September.
I closed my computer and resolved to go to a Lantern Festival at some point. I would have that experience, I decided. Some day.
So last night, we did it! We went to a Lantern Festival! The girls were thrilled with anticipation over the "Floating Lights" (a reference to Rapunzel, of course!) and I was excited to finally see what I had wanted to see that strangely homesick day in 2013.
Also, I think a little magic is good for the heart ;-)
Here is how the girls decorated their lanterns!
and now I can cross a Lantern Festival off of my bucket list! Maybe we'll go to another one some day. We really did enjoy it despite the wind and moderate fire hazard, ha! I'm grateful, though, to finally have gotten to experience it!