05 July 2007

Summertime and the Living Is Easy

I love this time of year. Is there anything better than long, sunny days followed by clear, warm nights? Fresh fruit in abundance and variety? Day lilies and lightening bugs? Picnics and light picnic wines? Street festivals? Dining al fresco?

Oh sure, there are wildfires in California and the Southwest is experiencing record high temperatures but here there's just the usual Summer experience. Long hot days, the occasional thunderstorm, and a desire by most to be out and about.

So yesterday we had fireworks on the court where we live. Not just sparklers but the real McCoy. Neighbors spent hundreds, probably thousands, on fireworks. We grilled and everyone on the court, and beyond, brought food and drink and sat out and chatted and watched all the pretty, noisy explosions.

And in the midst of this, it made me think about how the American identity is so tied to war. Our celebration of our country is a series of larger and larger explosions, often accompanied by military music. Our national anthem talks about "bombs bursting in air". Our national bird, now off the endangered list for the first time that I can remember, is a bird of prey.

And still, with reminders of war, in a country slogging through a most difficult war, I have the luxury to stop thinking about war. I am grateful for the country I am born to; the generous, inclusive spirit of the people around me; and especially the long, peaceful Summer days.

I'll be spending quite a few enjoying the great outdoors, while the gettin' is good, and away from this blog. I wish you a lovely Summer experience filled with the things that make you smile.

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