Happy 236th birthday, America!

It’s July 4th! Time for all manner of American celebrations, good food, good company, and fireworks. Woohoo!

Sadly, 4th of July is one of those holidays that I frequently find myself grappling about how to celebrate.  For me, it has this in common with New Years.  In concept I like the idea a lot.  I watched the scene from the miniseries on John Adams this morning, the one where they all agree to the Declaration of Independence?  I got emotional. I got chills. No, it’s not a lack of patriotism that fuels my confusion.  I do have great love, despite the ups and downs I experience over politics, for America.  Ok, so celebrating… I’ve had some really good 4ths.  There was the year my whole family went to my Great Uncle Deans and he set off his own firework show (on his ranch) and we sat out in the field watching the light show.  In a 24 hour period, we pretty much consumed all the typical American summer foods (watermelon, burgers, ice cream, ice tea, lemonade, etc.)  That was a high five on the 4th scale. (Possible keys? family? good food? good light show? hmmm considerations.) It does seem to vary a lot though, from year to year.  There was one year where I become the middle-man between two arguing friends (not fun) or a few years where I stayed home and  listened to fireworks going off in the distance.  Yep. Sadly more than many holidays, the 4th has limp noodle potential.  I’m not sure how to prevent this, but… it’s a possibility that seems to hang over the day… and one really does hate to see such a fantastic day become simply another ‘paid day off.’

Thankfully, for today, this hasn’t been the case so far (especially seeing I don’t have the luxury of paid leave at the moment).  There has been family, there will be good food, and I’m not sure about the light show yet…because it’s only 7.  I’ll have to see.  There was also a hike, and some major sun-miscalculation on my part: I wear the marks of that one.  And then there was walking through the park which has been transformed over night into this kind of mini-fair ground, right down the street.  So far, so good.


And least, like so frequently can happen during Christmas and Easter, we get all caught up in the particulars of food and festivities, and forget what it’s all about, here’s a fun video (that makes me smile) but also reminds me that it didn’t just happen.  The uncommon freedom I live, was paid for by a few so many might prosper.

I hope all my fellow American’s are finding good and lovely ways to enjoy their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, especially today, of all days.  And, I would say again to America, Happy 236th Birthday!  May you have many more celebrations, of like manner.


~M.R. Berry