Yesterday, for the first time, Zibin and I drove from Toronto to Ithaca after dark. And I loved it. For more than half the way, there were no lights at all except those from other vehicles. Cars a distance away travelling from the opposite direction look as if they were hovering above the ground because the road can’t be seen. Trucks and cars crossing by on overhead bridges hanging above the I-90 look like they are floating across the night sky.
When we were on highway 96, there were stretches that were pitch black. The road ahead of us was lit up well enough by our car’s headlights, but the view in the rear-view or side mirrors was pure darkness. Occasionally, another car would accost us on the way, and then from the rear-view mirror it would look like a little orb of light disappearing into the trees until everything became pitch black again.
There were flurries along the way, but because it was dark all around us except for a small area right in front of us, the view we had was almost exactly like what you see at the omni-max theatre as you cruised through the galaxy. You know how a multitude of stars would zoom by you around the periphery of your vision? That was how it looked and felt like as our car cruised headlong into the heavy fall of flurries.
When Ithaca came into view, it looked like a city of fairies… a darkened hill rising in front of us, adorned by hundreds of little lights. Magical.
Have you ever gone to the top of the CN Tower? Have you ever done so at night? I have been up that tower probably about 10 times in my life… but only once did I do so at night. And I will never forget that view from the Skypod.
Standing in almost complete darkness and quiet in that small glass-covered space, Toronto was a faerie kingdom. It was a clear night, and the lights from the cars on the Gardiner-Express and QEW could be seen for miles and miles, even as they bend around Lake Ontario. From that great height, the lights of the moving vehicles were no longer discrete, but formed a flowing river of incandescent veins.
You may be able to see further on a clear day when at the top of the CN Tower. But if you go there at night, you would see a completely different Toronto. I still remember how I felt at that moment, as I gazed out the window, with my breath caught in my throat by the ethereal beauty of those faerie lights. It was a moment of pure enchantment. I will not, can not, forget. I hope I never do.