July 4, 2011

[fireworks] keep falling on my head

I love fireworks. The fourth of July is far from my favorite holiday, but I think a good fireworks show is easily one of my favorite things. I don't honestly have an explanation for why I love them so much, or why there is so much memory attached to these particular crackles of colored light, but I see them and my heart fills and it's one of those things that - explanation or not - just is.

I am something of a fireworks snob, though, as I grew up watching fireworks the only way I think fireworks should be watched ever - in the middle of a lake. While I can appreciate a good fireworks show on dry land, it's nothing compared to the boat rocking gently back and forth, water lapping against the sides, all quiet aside from the booms and cracks, the Apollo 13 soundtrack playing on the stereo, and the occasional [obnoxious yet somehow endearing] cheers of lake people. It was so good it felt like a secret, like something not everyone could possibly know about or there would be WAY more people out on that lake with us. I watched fireworks the other night from an amazing rooftop patio with a perfect view. I was enjoying people I love, enjoying knowing and being known, and as good as it was, I kept thinking to myself that when fireworks are done right, you should have debris intermittently hitting you in the face as you lie there in the stillness and the dark. That's how you can tell you're close enough; when fireworks keep falling on your head.

I have dear memories of sitting with my little nieces and nephews in my lap as they marveled at the "firecracks." Each time, I've found myself wiping tears from my eyes as their wonder explodes from their little mouths; because I can remember just as vividly watching the fireworks when I was that little, my mouth gaping in equal parts excitement and terror, mesmerized by the colors taking shape above me. Something about fireworks, to this day, makes me feel dreamy. I remember thinking about what my life might be like, someday. I remember being adolescent and thinking about the romance that was sure to come, of the hands I would someday hold under that same red-white-and-blue sky. I remember distinctly feeling great and inexplicable peace as I watched the firecracks, surrounded comfortably by my people, imagining how I would bring my someday people there, someday - how I would let them in on the secret, and take them to the place where the fireworks fall on your face if you're doing it right.

I feel unbelievably humbled that this is the life I have known, that these are my memories. And that someday is here and that there is more someday ahead. Fireworks create, for me, a [very] rare space in which I can love and live my present and feel hope and excitement for my someday all at once. Even still, after years and years of hearing the same noises and watching the same finales, I watch [my mouth gaping] in equal parts wonder at the loveliness of my today and dreamy dreams of romance & somedays to come.

1 comment:

Hannah B. said...

That was so well-written that I had memories of my own brought to mind and smiled thinking about my someday people. Thank you for posting!