I skipped the fireworks this July 4th weekend. I just wasn’t up for it. Last week was such a heavy lift in so many ways, with so much at stake in our democracy. Al and I had no special plans for the holiday, which was fine. I had a long to-do list and needed time to think.
When I finally got up from my desk yesterday for a late afternoon walk around the neighborhood, I was expecting to hear boisterous backyard parties, music, even the pop of firecrackers. But to my surprise, it was quite still. No one else was out walking, unusual for the time of day. Some neighbors had decorated their homes with American flags. One had strung red-white-and-blue bunting from the windows. There were a few homes with a line of cars parked out front, and I smelled some barbecue. But no laughter drifted on the light breeze.
On a picture-perfect Independence Day, the loudest sounds were the chatter of house sparrows and the pensive coos of mourning doves. A few bunnies hopped across lawns. A couple of neighbors, pausing from tasks, said hello. My hydrangea burst silently into full bloom. And that was it.
I am one who enjoys moments like these. As I walked, I was grateful for the peace, the quiet, the contemplative mood. In other neighborhoods across our country, that is not a given. Nor is it a given in other countries around the world.
I hope that you and yours are able to find quietude when and where you seek it. We all need time, right now, just to be.
I’ll be taking a couple of weeks off to do just that, back later in July. Peace.