Snail's Postcard Post

Sunrise, Sunset

It’s currently Hanukkah, and I just received a delightful gift, a magnet that might have been made for me!

IMG_4440Every Hanukkah, I laugh with Mama and Papa Snail about the first time we celebrated the holiday. We Snails are not a religious bunch, but when I was a wee hatchling of two, Mama and Papa Snail thought we should start celebrating Hanukkah to counterbalance omnipresent-Christmas (in the U.S.) so I’d grow up with some idea of what happens to be my heritage. So Papa Snail boldly ventured into a Judaica shop and purchased a menorah at a cut-rate price because it was already the second night of Hanukkah. That evening, he and Mama Snail set candles in the new menorah and lit them. This was clearly the time for a blessing, but Mama Snail had never learned the blessing, and Papa Snail–who’d been forced to attend the Jewish equivalent of Sunday School so his unreligious parents could keep up appearances–was not ready to reopen that door and sing the prayer by himself. Instead, Mama and Papa Snail proceeded to sing every song they could think of with ‘light’ or ‘fire’ in it–“Come on Baby Light My Fire” “Let Me Stand Next to Your Fire” “This Little Light of Mine” “There’s a Light Over at the Frankenstein Place”…   

People worldwide light candles, gather around fires, float lanterns, and look to the stars to bring light and warmth to literally or figuratively dark, cold times. It’s undoubtedly a moth-like allurement in part, and, I think, partly a yearning for comfort and clarity. Is it any wonder that so many travel postcards feature sunsets? Light conveys so much to us. When we want to show how beautiful a place is to the folks back home, to give a sense of how happy we are on our journeys, to remember a location fondly, images of amazing light satisfy that desire. And so I present to you my favorite sunset postcards and other wonderful displays of light. 





Lake Arrowhead, California


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Perhaps not so obvious as a display of light, but I absolutely love the orange glow rising through the marine layer at either end of the bridge. Sigh






Founded 1786


Firefall, Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California

In 1872, to delight their guests and other park visitors, the owners of the Glacier Point Hotel poured embers down the approximately 3,000-foot Glacier Point, creating the illusion of a waterfall of fire. It became a summertime tradition upheld by the following generations of Glacier Point Hotel owners. In fact, all summer, they put on the show every night at 9:00 to conclude Camp Curry’s campfire gatherings. 
This postcard must be from 1967 or earlier, because in 1968, the National Forest Service ordered the end of the Firefall. The non-natural event was attracting too many visitors for the ecological health of Glacier Point and the Park’s dedication to appreciation of the natural world. As if the hotel itself knew the show was over, it burned down a year later and was never rebuilt.
Great-Aunt and -Uncle Snail sent this to Grandma Snail while on their honeymoon in Kauai, Hawaii. I know this is a tourism display at a resort, but I find this photograph completely enchanting. Visually, I think it’s one of my favorite postcards. 
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from miniature postcard book of views of Washington D.C.


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(Bristlecone pine, high-elevation fighter, oldest species of tree in the world. No caption–perhaps at Comb Ridge in Southeast Utah?)

IMG_4473(With the majestic Rockies, it’s easy to forget Colorado’s Eastern plains.)





Okay, not light at its most comforting, but certainly in all its awesomeness. On the reverse side, however, Mama Snail wrote about fireflies in this postcard to me on her first book tour when I was a wee snail, “The fireflies were blinking + made me think of you.” 


This entry was published on December 12, 2012 at 3:38 pm. It’s filed under Series and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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