Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah
This past weekend Mike planned the most amazing birthday surprise for me. I’ve known for weeks that we were going somewhere, but it’s my busy season at work and I honestly haven’t had any time to think about it, let alone, have any kind of excitement towards it. So that entire day was the first time I actually felt the anticipation, eagerness, and joy during the build up. I didn’t know where we were going up until we got there and I saw “The Lights” sign and then my excitement hit its peak. I was overjoyed. This was something that was on my bucket list.
We arrived pretty early to enjoy the festival fun. As you can see below, we started off with double fists of beer, moved along to fill our bellies with food truck treats, and then proceeded to do what everyone else seemed to be doing… have a mini desert landscape photoshoot haha 😂 ! What was not pictured here was Mike trucking along (with his two hands) 2 heavy camping chairs, umbrella and stand, our bag of snacks, and blanket from the car to the hour long line we waited in, and to our spot further inside the festival. In hindsight, a wagon would’ve been nice. I will also mention, I was told to wear a sweater in what felt like 85 degrees. I make a point to say this as a tip to the next man that is thinking about planning a surprise for their significant other because we all know woman are just more organized and prepared 😉.
As the sun started to set with a sky that looked like pink cotton candy, everyone started to go hangout at their spots and listen to the live performances, which is of course when I started missing my kids 😑. The festival host started to prepare us all for the main event. Staff started to light the tikis, they did a demo lighting of a lantern, and played a safety instructions video. I laugh at this because initially I was acting inconvenienced by the whole situation (because of my eagerness), until I saw multiple adults not following instructions 🤷🏼♀️. We were told to boo people that lit and let go of laterns early as it was severely frowned upon (or in this case boo’d upon) because of the fire dangers it potentially causes.
When everything was in place we were finally told to begin! Jeff Buckley’s version of Hallelujah stared to play. Batches of lanterns were starting to light with flames. And then what felt like an immense energy wave of peace and calm started to form over everyone. It almost felt like a temporary state of Nirvana. Lanterns started to rise and halos of lights were beaming in the dark desert sky. I started to hear people cry. I myself began to choke up as in that moment I was experiencing something that not only looked, but also felt so beautiful. I almost just wanted to live only in that moment, and put my camera down and stand still, watch, and feel because I didn’t want to miss anything. The feeling of being surrounded by over 6,000 lit laterns floating above with written hopes and wishes of heartache being healed, and dreams coming true, or just simple statements of gratitude and gratefulness was such a spiritual experience for me. It feels like such perfect timing, especially coming at a time in my life going through so many positive changes and continued blessings. It actually was a full circle moment for me because the last time I listened to that song it was to help me get though a time in my life where I felt so broken and lost, and to hear that song now it was as if the universe was telling me “I told you it was all going to be ok.” Thank you, my love, I am so thankful for this experience, and to have these images imprinted in my mind, and the emotions in my heart forever.