The Sapphire City
The story of the Wizard of Oz sprang to my mind as I stood at the top of a southerly street looking down across the city of Vancouver.
Rather than an emerald city though, it is a sapphire one.
Surrounded by towering mountains, with the blue sky overhead, the tall glass towers reflect nature's blues through its kaleidoscopic facets.
It seemed somehow natural to me that this blue gem of a city should be set among the mountains. By night rows of lights stream down from the mountains, guiding skiers or drivers down into this magical realm.
I wandered along the ocean's edge, where perfect parks filled with roses hold a tight reign between the wild Pacific beyond and the magnificent city within.
I walked along the manicured paths, and into shining interiors where bartenders tossed wine glasses into the air, spinning them in an arc of light while we waited to be seated.
My greatest fascination with the city is the great art that it holds within its galleries and museums.
Emily Carr is a name that is now recognized around the world.
This remarkable woman, who lived between 1871 and 1945, seemed to have been able to cross from the normal realm of human vision, and into another world of spirit and mystery, capturing the essence of the wild places of British Columbia.
Her paintings clothed the wind and allowed the trees to fly upward. The life streaming within the forest was made visible to the human eye, and its depths became the stained glass windows of cathedrals.
The parks of this great city attempt to capture and retain that vision, where powerful and towering trees and gardens bursting with colour left me in awe.
Filled with art and surrounded by nature, and itself a masterpiece of sapphire beauty, Vancouver is a place that beckons. From its mountains, the surrounding oceans, and the soaring city itself, Vancouver is a place of where architects and city planners have endeavoured to surpass its natural beauty, and have come very close to succeeding.