It had been some years since we were able to view fireworks in person, and we knew this was the year. The weather was clear and warm and we had no competing plans. We headed to the vast parking lots and trotted the mile and half to the park, the last quarter mile or so through the woods lighted by small white lights strung through the trees and powered by generators.
People covered the hill, finishing picnics, listening to the band, while others tossed Frisbees and twirled colored bands of light. The sky darkened, and the boom of the magic of fireworks thrilled the crowd with visions of shimmering golds, spluttering pinks, splashes of green, red and blue against the navy palette. It does not get old, and there were new double and triple patterns that surprised and delighted. It was an evening well spent as we raced back through the woods with the throngs of people trying to get to their vehicles. We thought wistfully of our daughters, now 23 and 18, who were here last as young teens. It was our first time without them, and we were adjusting to this experience.
We recounted our tale of satisfied viewing to my husband’s cousin and family when we traveled to Falmouth the next day to visit. “Oh,” they said. Their experience was nothing like this.
They started down the mile walk to the ocean with their six year old girl and 9 year old boy, gazing at the stars overhead and enjoying the mild evening. Three blocks before they reached the sea they encountered a bank of fog that extended from beach skyward. They walked on, hoping it would lift. Shortly thereafter they heard the boom of the fireworks, and caught sight of a small green spark high in the mist. Ooooh! They began to sense what it would be like to be under attack with the rat-a-tat-tat, whistling, and BAM BAM BAM of the fireworks that were unseen. A sprinkle of pink, fluttered high above. “Oooh! Fairy dust!” their daughter commented.
As they walked down the street, the merriment of twenty-somethings spilled out of the bar. They were singing every Americana song they knew (which was three) at the top of their lungs. A couple of them had seized and wrapped themselves in huge American flags. They were surrounded by mist and accompanied by the battle-like sounds of invisible fireworks going off close by. It could not have resembled a scene from a movie more than this.
The ten year old stared, his eyes shining. “This is COOL!” he declared.
We all have our vision of what is necessary to celebrate this iconic holiday. I am glad to know the possibilities exceeded my imagination. Who knows what we can look forward to next year?!