Saturday, July 4, 2015

more antinomy


in which our plucky heroine is staying awake, and alert, in case some random bit of fire and brimstone brings danger from the sky to my little cottage...

When I was a child, we mostly lived in places where home discharge of fireworks was illegal. On the 4th of July, we would, as a family, along with friends, neighbors, and strangers, go to see the large public displays put on by professionals for everyone's enjoyment. I remember seeing fireworks at the beach, in some of the large fields behind a college, and in the center of the town on the playing fields of the high school. I remember seeing two different fireworks at once from the roof of a house. One memorable year my Dad drove to a different county and bought us sparklers, and some little ground flowers and a spinny bright thing that he tacked to the roof of our playhouse, and we stood around on the concrete patio with a bucket of water and our very tiny, safe, (and probably illegal) home display.

Then I moved to the Pacific Northwest. Or as it feels tonight, the wild wild west... Fireworks are sold from stands, and stores, and booths in church parking lots, for profit or as fundraisers for an assortment of good works. Despite this years intense heat and drought, and the extreme fire danger, for hours the neighborhoods will be full of people setting off loud and large explosions. This is a holiday celebration that is traumatic for many veterans, for any folks who have lived in a war zone, for animals who do not understand why the air is full of BOOM, and for those people who will end up hurt, maimed or burned from careless behaviour. It is, in fact, my least favorite holiday celebration, though I have great love of my home country despite my disagreement with her politicians and behaviours. (I myself have no personal dislike of sudden loud noises, but greatly prefer that to be a consensual activity, preferably at a gun range or some safe place up in the hills, with friends). Perhaps had I grown up here in my adopted bioregion, this variety of isolated amusements rather than a common civic one would seem normal to me, but girl can dream of a world where celebrating the birthday of our country involved activites more constructive than setting off explosives...

Here is wishing all and sundry here in the USA a happy and safe 4th of July!

2 comments:

  1. "Perhaps had I grown up here in my adopted bioregion, this variety of isolated amusements rather than a common civic one would seem normal to me..." heehee, not really! I grew up here in California, our susceptibility to raging firestorms only highlights the idiocy of people going firework-crazy! how dumb can people get.

    This year they have been hard core about no fireworks in the county i live in and people are listening for once. heesh! i've been a cranky old lady about this since i was a little girl, you are in good company.


    Big hug about your knee! i hope it heals well and speedily. Sending you big good thoughts, steph

    ReplyDelete
  2. Apparently the craziness about fireworks is not region-bound but time-bound... was just chatting with a friend who grew up in Klamath Falls and she said that when she was a girl "you might have some sparklers, snakes and a few different poppers, with just a tiny pinch of bang-powder in 'em. It's gotten really crazy over the last 20 years." I am doing everything I can to take care of my knee, and appreciate the good wishes very much

    ReplyDelete