City of Wonders

I just got back from watching a fireworks concert — if I wasn’t already in love with Edinburgh, I’m pretty sure tonight would’ve cemented that love for me. It was magical.

First of all, I’m blessed to have a park just outside my window. I noticed that people were setting up blankets and sitting out on the green, so I decided to join them. The fireworks were being set off up at the castle, but this park offers a great view — and it’s where the locals go.

Blessing number two, the people behind me brought their radio, so they were broadcasting the orchestra concert as the fireworks were going off. It was so much better that way, given that the music and the fireworks were made to go together, and it just synced up perfectly.

I loved sitting out on the lawn with the people of Edinburgh enjoying one of their famous summer events. Although, the word “summer” is debatable, because my feet almost froze… Either way, it was still wonderful. I loved the cheering, the laughter, the applause… It reminded me of the fourth of July, and I’m just a sucker for those times everyone comes together to celebrate and enjoy life. I sat among seasoned veterans and new international students just figuring out that the event was happening. I applauded with old Scottish couples and families with young children. It was a great night.

I know I can get nights like that everywhere, I mean I just mentioned that the same thing happens in America on the fourth of July… But you must understand that in Edinburgh, everything seems different. It literally feels magical, the magic of centuries of history we’ve never known…

There’s magic in listening to classical music as you watch fireworks dance over the top of a stone castle. Where can you find that in America except at Disney?

I was starting to feel very homesick tonight, and yet all I can do is write about how wonderful Edinburgh is… I think God is reminding me that I’m going to be okay here, that He’s already here and working, and I’m going to love experiencing new facets of Him and of His beauty in this place.

I invite you to come with me on the journey. Thank you for tuning in as I explore this city of wonders.

Note: I’d like to post more photos, but it takes forever to upload at the moment… Hopefully I can get more up over time. <3
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The Father of Heavenly Lights

So, I took a ridiculous amount of photographs on the Fourth of July… Oh my goodness, I had so much fun photographing fireworks! I’ve been wanting to show them off, but I haven’t decided on the right way to do so yet…
And then I got the idea for a post in which a firework photo might be somewhat appropriate… It’s a stretch, but here we go :)

The cd burner on my laptop stopped working right about the time the cd player in my car started to work again… Which means I’ve been listening to a bunch of old cds, since I can’t make any new ones. Well, on one such cd-trip down memory lane, I rediscovered my love for the song “Green” by Brendan James. The first two lines of this song get me every time:

Zeppelin never left her, never died or second guessed her, painted on her body
The stars would never hurt her, never lie, never desert her, painted on her body

I don’t know if I can wholly explain why these lyrics get to me, but I just think it’s the idea that this girl he’s singing about was craving something she could count on… She wanted a constant, she wanted hope that wouldn’t desert her, and she found that in the stars and in music. She could always count on the stars to be in the sky every night, shining down on her. She could always count on music to be there to lift her up, to never judge or abandon her…

It’s so beautiful, and yet so sad at the same time.

But in a world of constant change, loss, pain and turmoil, stars can give us a glimpse of the stability we long for, and music offers us the power to hold on, to know that we are not alone… But better still is the Creator of such examples, for He is our true source of security.

He is the Father of Heavenly Lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17)

So I rewrite these lyrics, because heavenly music draws us to the One our souls truly long for. One day the stars will fail, but His love and His word stand forever:

God never left her, though He died to resurrect her…
Her God would never hurt her, never lie, never desert her,

Painted on her body — Still another will write on his hand, “The Lord’s.” (Isaiah 44:5)