Fire and Light

This evening, I have literally been thrust into a storm of fire and light. As dusk began to fall, the light from the sun was quickly replaced by bursts of fireworks igniting in full glory above the shadowy outline of silent, stoic factories.

To accompany the fire and light from Fourth of July fireworks, lightening has cast a shocking brilliance against the grey clouds covering an otherwise dark sky. With thunder booming directly overhead and dazzling sparks of colored light sprinkling the sky I can see through every set of windows from one side of my apartment to the other, there will be no escape from sounds of the city tonight.

Despite my tendency to “poo poo” activities that seem needless wasteful of resources and harmful to the planet, my instinctual response upon seeing the sky fill with green and white flashes of tiny circles flying off in all directions was childlike giddiness and excitement.

I forgot that fireworks were fun!

I honestly cannot remember the last time I have seen fireworks on any occasion—New Year’s even, the fourth of July, etc.

I would not describe myself as a particularly patriotic person. In fact, most of the time I have spent living and traveling overseas, I have felt more apologetic and embarrassed than otherwise. When Bush was elected for a second ? in office, I was living and teaching in Brittany (Bretagne en français), the northwest region of France. I found little inspiration by way of explanation to questions from teaching assistants from other countries and teachers I worked with in the quaint town of Quimper. More than once, I even considered waiting out the four years to come by taking refuge in France. I certainly would speak better than I do today if I had, but love and memories of western mountains brought me home at the end of eight months.

I am not sure I am ready to raise an American flag from my apartment windows, but I moved to smile thinking about my fellow Lowellians celebrating thoughts of opportunity and freedom and memories of the new life each of our relatives imagined when they made the choice—or the choice was made for them—to travel to this country.

Happy Fourth!

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