As is likely with your family, mine was unable to observe July Fourth in quite the same manner this year as in others. My wife and I usually plan on which fireworks display we will try to attend and invite others to go with us. Last year Lorna’s brother and his wife joined us for the big celebration on the State House lawn in Montpelier. It was a great evening.
This year we were simply staying home for the night. Lorna is the world’s biggest fireworks fan and the most patriotic person I know, so that saddened me a bit.
I decided to go downtown and at least get her a tub of her favorite ice cream to celebrate with. I thought that might help. The store that carries it, on South Main Street in Barre, was out of her brand and flavor, so I tried one on North Main Street. They had the cold treat that I knew would brighten my wife’s evening a bit, so I grabbed a tub and headed home.
Looking up as I drove toward our house, I couldn’t help but notice the biggest, brightest full moon I could remember ever seeing. Immediately getting on my (hands-free) phone, I called Lorna and told her to meet me on the back steps of our house. She was waiting for me when I arrived, and we headed back out into the night, chasing that beautiful moon up the streets through East Barre, where we thought it would not be blocked by trees.
We were right, and pulled off the road near the East Barre Dam, in awe of the star-studded sky and that immense lunar world just hanging there silently, on the horizon right in front of us. The moon lit the sky and all across the field below tiny fireflies danced in the evening breeze. I could not help but realize that God Himself, the creator of all, is also the author of all true beauty and that He had provided both the mightiest and the tiniest fireworks possible for Lorna’s and my evening’s pleasure. It was just amazing!
After arriving home, I decided to head out to the front lawn to water some new grass seed that I had recently planted. I enjoy doing this, as it is very peaceful out there in the near dark, and it is a good time and place to think. When I had finished the watering, I looked up and noticed that Lorna had come out onto the front porch swing, her own place of silent solitude. I soon joined her on the porch, and we sat there looking across the valley that holds downtown Barre.
Soon, and seemingly building up into a loud and literally sparkling chorus, the whistles and bangs of home-launched fireworks began to echo across the hills near our home. At first there were just a few, and then there were more, and then there were many more.
I, of course, have no idea of the true intent of anyone’s heart. Still, I could not help but think, in spite of any virus threat, health-safety or otherwise motivated regulations, or any protest or other hindrance, that these local people wanted to celebrate the Fourth of July, our Independence Day, and that they would, simply, not be stopped from doing so. Partying Patriots of all beginnings and backgrounds, with their families and their friends, had purchased their own fireworks displays and were sharing their celebrations with anyone who wanted to look up into the future, as it was written in the sky over our small city. I could not have been more proud!