Photograph by Barnaby Evans

Everyone says New Englanders are cold. Americans are always in a rush. The world is impersonal. Phones are answered by machine which ask you questions – to which you have to press 1 or 2 or 6 to get to the appropriate person or to get information. There is no sense of community anymore. This is modern world, so isolated, so everyone for themselves only. . .

But then Barnaby Evans gave us WaterFire. As you follow the course of the fires, watch the boats glide by, surrounded by people and dogs from everywhere, or nowhere, or who-knows-where, you feel suffused with a sense of love for everyone. Companionability and community oozes into the atmosphere. Even our feisty dogs don’t bark madly at other dogs as they usually do. They feel it too.

This event should be celebrated across the nation. Providence should invite everyone: come to WaterFire. Feel the real magical world. Fire on water. Music floating above. Love, community. This is New England. This is Providence. This can be America.

– Elaine Chaika
Providence, RI

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