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finding your place

July 6, 2012

There’s just something to be said about friends and finding a place within them. Something; but that something escapes me more times than not and I’m left with silly little words that barely break the ice about how important, how amazing, and how just downright perfect my little circle of friends has become for me, for us, these past few months. Case in point: the 4th of July.

Ever since I was a wee girl growing up in Marion where the ‘good fireworks’ were set off in the town down from us (Gas City) and my grandmother and I would LITERALLY camp out at the Gas City park in order to get a table and maybe a shelter for the next day I’ve just LOVED the 4th of July. I don’t know why. The excitement? The familial bond? The planning? The food? The drink? The social-ism? I don’t know, but I lived for it. You wouldn’t guess it (I don’t think) because, let’s be honest, I hate the heat, but there’s something about the 4th that makes it all worthwhile. All worth the waiting in the balmy July heat for everyone to gather around, point their heads up, and ooh and ahh at the spectacle of lights above them. Maybe it’s the only time people are quiet and getting along. Maybe it’s the only time we all have something in common and we sit back and relish at the beauty in front of us, in tandem. I think I spend more of my time watching people watch fireworks than watching them myself. In fact, I know I do.

I can remember my 4th’s from way back. Back when I was a child and we’d camp out in the Gas City Park to the first drama-ridden fireworks display (or lack thereof) with my first boyfriend: he HAD to go pick up his friend in a neighboring city so he could have a friend too (I had one in town) and so we ended up seeing fireworks from the road instead of in a park, together, hand in hand. I remember fireworks in rainy downtown Marion wearing hoodies over my pregnant belly, at the Market Place where the tips of the trees were just in the wrong spot with all the kids piled in the back of a pick-up, here in Bloomington just with my honey for the first time, at the UU Church with friends and babes for a lifetime and with friends where the fireworks were well within earshot but covered by the forest between here and there. I remember fireworks at Lake Winnie (twice) in Georgia after a long day at the amusement park soaking wet with sweat and (tears and) just plain water.  I remember them all, and while each one has a very special memory and I hold them close to my heart, this past 4th of July just has to be my favorite.

photos courtesy Jessica

I spent weeks preparing for it – or at least trying to. Figuring out what we were going to do with the 4th in the middle of the week surrounded by two possible weekends for fireworks fun. But no one wanted to plan with me. They were too busy. I couldn’t get a plan out to save my life, so, I sat back and let things happen. And happen they did! My dear friend hosted her annual 4th of July party in her backyard which adjoins the very place in which her town’s fireworks are set off. She invited friends and family, provided delicious food, and even had water fun (and a TENT) set up in the back yard for the babes. While Griffin was a pill at first, requesting cupcake after cupcake and eating only mere bites of real food in between, (it’s a holiday, I let things slide) he later became the little ham of the party throwing glow sticks in the air and dancing to rave music while the Star Spangled Banner played in the background. We laughed. We smiled. I relaxed and had THE Most wonderful time of my life.

And when the fireworks started (and we couldn’t see them so we simply moved to the other side of the yard) we had the perfect view. Perfect. Sitting in chairs with our heads held high looking into the sky all at once; no drama, no fighting. Perfect. The fireworks show lasted what seemed like forever and while I sat and watched much of it, mostly I sat and watched my friends watch . . . I watched my dear friend play with my dear boy and create a bond that will be there forever . . . I watched her husband watch her (and the wee one) with such Love and adoration I couldn’t help but smile . . . I watched a worn out father take a wee little nap while booms were happening all around him . . . I watched a couple hold hands and be silent in their comfort . . . I watched a young girl capture the moment forever and ever over and over again to lock away in her treasure chest of happiness . . . I watched two adult friends share a moment that brought them back to their childhood . . . I watched my husband relax his shoulders just for a moment to take in the peace and the Loveliness of a stress free night . . . and I watched the fireworks that were also in the sky.

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 6, 2012 10:22 am

    Yay! 🙂 We were SO HAPPY to have you guys there with us!

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