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Fourth of July

There is always a moment at the beginning of the festival of fireworks when I look around at the chaos of kids running and burning objects, sometimes kids running with burning objects, and I feel a strong desire to call a halt to the whole thing. But then it settles down. The kids become more content to watch from the curb as the daylight wanes. Either that, or they’ve vanished into the back yard with glow bracelets to play their own games. This leaves only a few people running out to the middle of the street to light the aerials that shoot into the sky to explode.

I always think of “the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air” when I am surrounded by booming and colorful bursts on all sides.


I was aware that I ought to spend some of the Fourth of July contemplating freedom. The first sight this morning was the view of a flag through my doorway window. Yet my mind slipped away from serious contemplation. I alternated between working and relaxing. We did not participate in any public events, choosing instead to contemplate a canopy of green leaves as seen from a hammock. This is an expression of freedom I suppose, to enjoy the luxuries that others sacrificed so that I could have. I was conscious of my privileges today because they are a gift. Other years we have attended balloon launches, parades, and festivals. This year it felt good to just be at home. In the evening we cooked food on the grill and enjoyed fireworks with neighbors.

Our cat was less pleased with the day.

We kept her indoors for the most explosive hours of the evening, but she was still skittish and obviously trying to make sense of a world gone crazy. This is always a hard day for pets.

Tomorrow we’ll be back to work, which makes me glad. We have good work to do.

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