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Monday, December 24, 2012

CHRISTMAS JOY

 
It's early Christmas Eve morning. I'm sitting in a dark living room with only the Christmas tree lights twinkling. It's quiet. Long gone are the days of noise and excitement as Christmas approaches. I miss those days! I wish I had slowed down, relaxed, and enjoyed them more. The years pass way too fast! Oh, but we do have some wonderful Christmas memories!!   Even though there's a touch of sadness, my heart is full of Christmas joy. Christmas music is what has filled my heart with joy. I love Christmas music. I could listen to it all year long and I just might this year. It would remind me of the feelings in my heart this morning.

I wish you could have been with me the last two days! On Saturday afternoon my dad, mom, sister and I shared a special time together at Blanchard Springs Cavern. A group of talented area musicians with their stringed instruments filled the cavern with carols.
 

There's is no way that you can even imagine or I can describe the sound of joyous carols being sung in the perfect acoustics of this cavern. There were no microphones, no fancy set up;  just seven carolers, two guitars, one mandolin and one lap dulcimer. They moved through the big room as they sang. We could hear them just as clearly when they were yards away as when they were standing right in front of us.
 
We heard fun Christmas carols, a dulcimer and guitar duet, and Pachelbel's cannon played on a guitar as another gentleman read a Christmas story. I was thrilled when they sang my favorite carol The First Noel. It jubilantly rang through the cave.  The most breathtaking moment was when a beautiful soloist sang "O Holy Night." Her voice was amazing, so very pure. There was not a sound in the cavern as she sang. I closed my eyes and could feel the air full of music. I wish I had the right words to describe how I felt as she held that last beautiful note. We sat is awe as she ended and her voice echoed around the room. I just can't describe it, but it filled me with joy.

 

I'll tell you just a little about the cavern. Blanchard Springs is located in Mountain View, Arkansas.  The care given by visitors and the United States Forest Service has kept this cave a "living cave" one that is constantly changing and growing.
 


Living caves are ones in which slow metamorphosis due to minerals deposited by seeping and dripping water is still in process. The cave stays around 58 degrees year round with 100% humidity.



We were in the cathedral room which is 216 feet below the surface and is large enough to hold three football fields and still have space left over!



The cave formations include a 70-foot column, 55-foot draperies, and a natural bridge. You can see the column about 1/3 of the way from the left side of this photo.

I didn't think my heart could be any fuller, but I was wrong. In our worship service Sunday morning our church choir sang a beautiful cantata Love Transcending. We don't have a huge choir or an orchestra. We have a group of very talented singers who love to praise God with their voices. We did have a small percussion section for the cantata, chimes, a xylophone, piano, and organ. It was the perfect blend. The instruments enhanced the beautiful voices. The songs told the story of how love transcended to earth in the Christ child.

I will echo the words of our pastor after the contata,  "I am filled with unspeakable joy!"

May your heart be filled with joy this Christmas!

kat eye view
 
I'm linking this post with Kat's Exploring With A Camera. Our exploration this month was "The Lights of Night."  It's actually darker than the night down in the cavern. They keep very low lighting to show the beauty of the creations. Stop by Kat's blog and see her great tutorials and photo examples of lights at night!

9 comments:

  1. Your descriptions of the singing in the caverns was fantastic! I could almost hear them too! The pictures of the cavern are very good too! It's not easy to get a good shot in that kind of no light! What a magical time you had there! Thanks for sharing it!
    Have a Merry Christmas Cathy!

    xo,
    Linda

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  2. Wow, Cathy. Your description of the music in the cavern just fills me with chills. I love that feeling, where you can feel the music on your skin. Wonderful images from the Cavern - a very challenging "Lights of Night" situation! Thank you for sharing in Exploring with a Camera this month. And Merry Christmas!

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  3. I live in a town famous for it's caverns....Luray, VA...so I know of the magic melody you so lovely describe.
    Merry Christmas Cathy!

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  4. How completely amazing - what an experience that must have been! Sometimes there just are no words to adequately describe such pure joy. I agree - Christmas carols are the best. Wishing you the same - a heart filled with joy!

    (Your tree is very festive and joyful - enjoy your time with the grandsons!)

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  5. I have goosebumps and feel a tear coming just imagining all the music echoing through that cavern like love on the wing of a butterfly! I have never heard of anything like that, I may have to see if I can find something like that - we do have some caverns in Texas somewhere I think. Thanks so much for sharing this...hopefully I can get some time today to link up my festival of lights for Kat's link-up! Merry Christmas to you Cathy!! xo

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  6. I would have loved to have heard that!!

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  7. I so understand the nostalgia you feel for 'noisier' times! Just me, the tree and carols this morning...waiting for the house to stir. What an amazing experience you describe. MERRY CHRISTMAS to you!

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  8. What a wonderful experience, Kathy! Music can transport us and bring such joy. The caverns look amazing -- thanks for sharing. Happy holiday week!

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  9. Cathy, your tree is is just gorgeous!!!

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Thanks so much for stopping by!!