Every year before Christmas, I make a pilgrimage of sorts to my childhood neighborhood of Dyker Heights. There I see the extravagant, over-the-top display of Christmas lights and decorations that adorn the mini-mansions and homes in this neighborhood. It is also a time that I feel a special message come to me as I walk the streets, absorb the mood, and reflect on the impressions I receive . Each year the experience is completely different.
The first effect of seeing so many softly colored lights against the dark of night is a sense of euphoria. The world is completely different and as I walk closer to the heart of Dyker Heights in the 80 Streets, there is a temporary lapse of all sense of past and future. Every sense is focused on the present moment.
The ordinary becomes extraordinary. Trees that light up the night suddenly seem a possibility.
Even the mini-mansions are transformed into castles where anyone can live like a prince or princess in a happily-ever-after land.