as much as we argue about how it is and ought to be run, as much as we sometimes love to hate on it, as big a joke as it is made out to be in movies and pop culture, America is a good place to live, a good place to grow up.
i was a homebody tonight instead of goin out friends, and my parents and i stood out on the front lawn, watching explosions in the sky 200 yards away, 20 miles away, right over our heads, from all different parts of the Eastside 'burbs.
i had a similar experience a couple years ago... hanging out for the 4th at the Bellevedere apartments in Clifton, went up to the roof where there's an almost 360-degree view of the city. mild night, nothing doing, and then: all across the city of Cincinnati were flashes of light and fire... a few at first and then hundreds of explosions all at once, filling the air with color and sound and it shook me for a moment as i thought, my God, it's like we're being attacked. it's like some beautiful terrible memory of being attacked in our own town. and i remembered... well duh, that's exactly what it is. but it had never dawned on me the meaning, the vision of your own home being lit up red and white in the middle of the night, the fear for your close friends and your mom & dad and your future and your life. and today we replicate that moment in history but without fear.. instead with fun and drinks, wows, smiles... in celebration! how strange! how mildly inappropriate? how oddly exactly what it ought to be? how poignant?
whatever it was, it was special to me to be so humbled, struck in the face by this holiday which had been in my mind just a big weird party that happened every year. may the meaning and sense of hope that this day is meant to bring find its way into all of our pointed little heads this year.
happy 4th! be safe and be merry!