An Old Fashioned 4th

I spent part of the 4th of July quietly in my studio making cards and putting the finishing touches on my zine. It was a peaceful day, I really did not think too much about it being the 4th. Later on that evening my friends and I got some sushi to go, make a lush salad from my garden, grilled a few organic burgers, drank some organic dark beer, and dined on her screened-in porch. It was relaxing and quite heavenly to spend time with good friends. Afterwards we headed up the mountain to Mohonk to view the fireworks.

We arrived early and took Bardet's grandson Pixley with us, an adorable 2 year old. We sat on the grand porch in overstuffed dining chairs; the dock was being set up for a performance. A group of men appeared in Civil War uniforms (Union uniforms) ..and played a selection of marches and songs from the period on the original instruments of the time. After they finished, it became hushed, and the all the lights were turned out on the mountain, save for the light in the tower across on the cliffs. It was inky dark. Then, all the gazebos were lit, decked out in little white lights. During the next part of the show, a bugle was played, there was a singer belting out traditional patriotic songs, and various forms such as flags, stars and torches were lit with fireworks. Even though I am furious at our current governing body, the war in Iraq, and how are soldiers are being treated, (I am the mother of a veteran of this war) I searched within myself and find a space where I honored the men and women who risked so much to build the nation that I live in. So often I take my freedoms for granted and forget the lives given to provide me with what I have now. I shed my anger and joined in on one of the songs.

The finale was a grand fireworks display. The evening ended with a moment of silence while taps was being played. It bought tears to my eyes.

After the lights were lit on the mountain and inside the house, an old fashioned square dance took place in one of the large ball rooms. The young and the old started to dance their hearts out. We all joined in for a dance or two, confusing our steps, dancing with the wrong partners, going in the wrong directions, but our souls were light and free and we laughed with the joy of the dance.

For an evening we were back in the 1860' a place where magic does happen.


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