There is nothing better for me than to lie under a sky filled with stars on a warm summer evening in August and count at least six falling stars in an hour. About ten years ago for Christmas, I bought Rod a ‘Backyard Astrology’ package at the local museum and for eight weeks we learned of the lore in the night sky. On graduation night, we had the chance to go into the observatory and use the large telescope. When it was my turn to step up to the eyepiece, I peered down and was in absolute awe to be able to see Jupiter and its magnificent rings. It was quite a feeling and an experience that left me without words. (Hard to imagine I know!) Since that day on, I am not able to look up at night and not connect the dots and tell the story of the constellations.
We know how much work it takes to have an event flow. There are always unexpected things that crop up and once they are taken care of, we can almost always look back and find the moment when it all seemed worth the effort. A few years back, I had the opportunity to work on a first time event in the city created to raise money for the Children’s Aid Society and the National Arts Centre. The ambassador of Austria was hosting Ottawa’s first Viennese Winter Ball and I was tasked to work with the artists and event logistics. Finding a dance floor within our budget was much harder than I imagined and the logistics to ship the gift bags from Austria wasn’t a cakewalk either. There was a team of us working on this inaugural event and as with first time events, there were many challenges. Even working together as a team in year one was hard as there were many stakeholders. There was a long list of details that needed to come together quickly to declare success. The various concurrent ‘to do’ lists included ten pairs of young debutantes learning the opening waltz, the menu awaiting approval from the embassy, ticket sales needing encouragement, all ongoing while the musicians practiced their performances. By 9pm, dinner was complete and the dancing began. For the first time all night, we could breathe. It was just about this time that I looked up towards the glass ceiling of the Great Hall and noticed the full moon. The light from the moon was so bright that it added natural illumination onto the beautiful couples and in the same colour blue of the numerous spot lights. It was at that moment that I acknowledged that there are elements to an amazing event that are unplanned and simply magical. The event gods had invited themselves to the ball and the planets had most definitely aligned.