Wednesday, July 4, 2012
more than fireworks
//4th of July 2011//
Last night, the hubs and I sat on our bedroom floor, sipping champagne and watching fireworks dance around the edges of apartments and trees. Children with flashing glow sticks pranced by with parents in tow (not the other way around). A patriot rode by on a bicycle, his American-flag-turned-cape waving cheerfully. Cars trying to "beat the rush" were backed up for blocks.
The scene was everything that the Fourth of July should be: fireworks, music, mirth, love, community. But it wasn't right. Something was missing.
To me, the Fourth is about more than fireworks. It's cicadas in the dark. Screen doors and melting ice. Wicker. Charred hot dogs on Mrs Baird's buns, topped with ketchup and mustard. Blankets and trucks parked in a field of maize. Simplicity.
As we grow up, it's difficult to hold on to a sense of wonder at the world around us. Now we're the ones driving the cars in backed up traffic, lugging the coolers up sandy roads, and picking the burrs out of picnic blankets. We know how fireworks work and can never forget how early we have to get up tomorrow.
But, the Fourth. Every year on the Fourth, I am a kid again, joyful and alive and awed. Barefoot on a country road in north Texas, headed toward that field of maize.