By Carla Charter
Let me be the first to admit I love an occasional amusement park trip. Although I am not a fan of rollercoasters and other fast rides, carousels, boardwalk games and a healthy dose of fried dough and cotton candy all have their place.
Having said that though it concerns me that there seem to be a number of tourist spots that now feel like they have to have an amusement park component to bring in visitors. I worry that our constant need to be amused and entertained is going to have a large impact on our ability to be in we or for that matter just to be.
This thought first crossed my mind when I saw an article about Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal. Although I have never visited this particular house of worship, through photographs alone, it was clear that the architecture and the stained-glass windows were stunningly beautiful. The type of building where the minute you walk through the door feel like you’ve stepped into a painting. A place to absorb the beauty created generations ago and lovingly preserved to be enjoyed by visitors today.
Apparently though such beauty is not enough to appeal to our current amuse me or make it cooler appetites. According to this article, the beauty of this architecture was being enhanced by a laser light show, several times a week.
Maybe it’s me, but the last place I want to see a laser light show is in a church. A church to me is a peaceful place to reflect, to quietly enjoy the beauty of a sacred place to be. A beautiful church is a respite to escape from the noise, the hustle and bustle of life. The thrill provided simply from the WOW moment, when you feel lucky to be spending a moment surrounded by such artistry. Apparently that’s no longer enough.
I hoped this was an isolated incident. I was wrong. I noticed another article several days later, which mentioned a chance for tourists to zip line over the Grand Canyon. Wait, What?
I saw the Grand Canyon once from the sky while flying over on my way to California. Even from afar, I was stunned with its size and grandeur. I am sure it is even more beautiful when you see it up close.
I do not however, want to zipline into the Canyon at high speed. I only want to stand there, in awe of
not only the canyon itself but of the power of the nature that created it. Maybe even taking the
opportunity while I am there, to learn more about the canyon then I knew when I arrived there.
There is a time and a place for amusement. There is also a time and a place to stand, with no cell phone in hand and absorb the beauty and magic of being in the moment and in the larger world itself. To make you realize that maybe life itself is the most amazing rollercoaster ride of all.