Sunday, June 27, 2010
Crackling Fire on a Warm Summer Night
Today the ILC group went to the Waterfire Show. We did not know much about it before hand. We had heard from the locals that it was a tradition and that it was beautiful site to see. Once we got there we were surrounded by people. There were people of all ages and races. I had never realized the diversity of Providence. We walked through the crowds of people to try and find the best spot to watch the Waterfire Show. We wanted to get at the center of the show to get the full effect. We finally got a spot where we could all see the show.
The Waterfire Show takes place on Providence River that runs through the city. At one section of the river there is a circle that is surrounded by spectators waiting for the show to start. There are stands that are located in the water which come through the water to hold the logs. They form a circle on the outer part of the river. There is a stereo system in the middle of the river that is playing classical and ethnic music, creating a dramatic environment. This is the center of the festival were the first log is lit.
When the festival began the music died out and a boat began to circle around the fire pits. On that boat was a tall muscular man that had chains with fire at the end. He began to twirl and the music started suddenly. The fire was large and hot as it passed by him. He twirled the fire around to the beat of the music, going faster and faster, then slowing down. After the fire twirler was done about five boats circled around the fire pits until they were all lit.
The fire began as a small little light in the middle of the large stack of logs but as time went on the fire overcame the logs and danced in the night sky. Embers flew up into the night sky being carried by the smoke that was filling the air. As the fire grew bigger the flames started to dance around each other pulling away from the pit then coming back to the pit, forming a beautiful light in the dark sky. The light reflected off the water causing a vivid orange color across the water. As I sat there watching I could feel the heat radiating off the fire and warming my cheeks. After a while the fires began to calm and people slowly walked out. From the people around, I heard that the show would go on til midnight so we decided that we would call it a day and head out.
With everyone together I felt that there was a sense of community. I am not used to this because my community is not close at all and we don’t have shows, festivals, or public events. It was nice to be a part of a tradition because my community doesn’t have one. Everyone came together without problems and enjoyed the event. As a Summer At Brown college student I felt that I was surrounded by good people and a safe environment. It was nice to know that I could go out into the community and feel welcomed and safe.