I live just south of one of the best fireworks displays in town. Usually, on the Fourth, I walk a few blocks, pop open a lawn chair, and hang out in a conveniently undeveloped field, watching the incredible professional fireworks from the Twin Oaks Country Club…They completely fill up the sky, rattle through my chest.
This year? My tried-and-true empty field was a construction zone. And the heat was absolutely vicious, keeping me from my usual bird’s eye view. Though my neighbors and I are residents of the county, and can legally shoot our own firecrackers, our worries about the brittle, dry surroundings during this prolonged drought also kept most of us from lighting much more than a few sparklers.
But we did spend plenty of time in our backyards, hitting grills or backyard pools.
Some of my younger neighbors—a couple of elementary-school-aged girls—spent the Fourth on a picnic blanket, under a backyard tree, with assorted cold summer snacks and drinks and a pile of books. I kept watching those girls, as the day lingered on, engrossed in their reads and laughing and enjoying each other. And it occurred to me that those are perhaps the best fireworks of all—the fireworks of connecting. To another person. To the voice in a novel. There’s nothing like that rattle that echoes through a chest when you find someone—or something—that you can relate to, on a personal level.
So here’s to all those fireworks of connection—may they be popping and banging all around you, this summer and for many more to come…