Lights glittered through the trees and music throbbed in the warm, night air. Small hands fumbled with car-seat buckles. They couldn’t wait to escape the confines of the car and be amongst the music and lights. As soon as their feet touched the ground their bodies started moving to the music.
Running down the fern lined path, with the sound of running water from a nearby stream, the girls hastened to the duck pond. It was lit up in an ethereal green glow and the ducks seemed most amused. The wetland walkway, meandering away from the duck pond, was lit up like a fairy dell. Shooting wires of lights, like a volcanic plant from a distant planet, changed in colour through the spectrum of the rainbow.
‘Let’s play pooh-sticks!’ Sophie shouted to Charli, as she looked down at the stream, bathed in a green light.
‘Sophie! Come across the stepping stones,’ Charli gasped, barely able to speak as her pulse raced with excitement.
Adult hands reached out to guide them carefully over the stepping stones. They themselves feeling the power of a child’s imagination and wonder. One eye on the children, another on the lookout for fairies or perhaps a gnome fishing up a golden trout for supper.
The music pulsed in the background. Crowds gathered on the grass by the Sound Shell. Many simply relaxing with a glass of wine in hand; others feeling the warmth of summer and letting their bodies move in rhythm to the beat.
The girls caught sight of a tree in the distance, adorned with tens of glitter balls twinkling in the night. Bubbles blew endlessly from the trees. They ran towards them, dancing in the swirling reflections of the glitter balls and delighting in the wet sensation of bubbles popping in their hair.
Spotlights of circles and stars travelled along the path, enticing the girls to chase them in a euphoric state, oblivious to the sea of legs ambling slowly along beside them. Running in and out, a few near misses, like sheep dog on the trail. People sat on benches laughing at the happiness of two little girls in a perfect state of happiness.
All the paths, twists and turns, they know so well in daylight hours, held so much magic.
‘Charli! Charli! Roll with me….’ and down the grass slope the girls rolled, giggling with delight. Trees lit up all around them.
The summer night, seemingly endless. All regular bedtimes blown out with the season of sun and long, light evenings.
But, sadly, tiredness catches us all. Often we try to wish it away. We push on past our physical bounds. Some nights we wish could go on forever. To stretch a minute into an hour at a whim.
So home we went and sleep came quick. Dreams of dancing fairies, twinkling trees and music still pulsing in our heads.
Links: ASB Gardens Magic Concert Series 2009 – concerts run till Sunday, 1 February, and start at 8pm in evening at the Sound Shell in the Wellington Botanical Gardens.