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Fire Works Magic

My father’s house is on a lake, and across the lake is a country club. For many years, and they may do so still, the country club sent up fireworks on the Fourth of July. My dad and I would sit on the edge of the dock, throw Merita bread to the catfish, and watch the blackbirds fly back and forth from the island in the middle of the lake. Before sunset (the same time every night) that mass of birds (more than you ever see these days) blanketed the sky and left for the night.

In a good year my father put me in his rinky-dink boat, and sometimes the sunset turned the water pink and orange and purple, and–just the us two–we’d drift out under the heat and with the mosquitos. Dad told jokes as we went (typically about taking a gator to school as a dog) and usually I laughed (and argued that even if you painted a gator white and cut off its tail, no one would believe it was a dog). And we, keeping an eye out for alligators, would wait for dark, and back then, it really got dark. Black. Night. We were far from town, almost no houses dotted the shore, and after those brilliant colors from the sun, the water changed to ink. If no moon lit the sky, we couldn’t see back to the shore where the dock and our home waited for us.

Then fireworks began.

Now I fight traffic and crowds and sit on pavement to watch fireworks over a river through the city, and I still think fireworks are magical, even if I know now they are not just for me.

Happy Fourth of July.

7 thoughts on “Fire Works Magic

  1. See? There is at least one thing that can be redeemed about the place you grew up (I know it was laden with other issues). šŸ™‚

    My sister and I watched fireworks from my bedroom window last night. The nearby city park had a spectacular show.

  2. Lovely evocative post. My fireworks viewing has mostly been from city fields and ended in traffic jams. One year I took pictures of fireworks and then double-exposed the film with pix of nudes. Got some interesting effects….

    This year, we watched fireworks from our patio with Taos Mountain in the background, and three different displays in the distance. Mountain Bluebird chicks chirped in the birdhouse, and aspens shivvered in the wind. The sky was a blanket of stars above, with Chinese star showers below.

  3. I loved this.
    the writing was so evocative.
    the story so alive for me as I read along.
    I hope you enjoyed your fireworks this year.

  4. Fireworks. This year we walked to Tampa Bay from our house and lay out on a towel while pink flamingos flew past pink sunset clouds. Years past I’ve climbed rickety ladders and fences to rooftops in Brooklyn. My least favorite fireworks were the ones where we fought crowds and stood on sidewalks… but whatever flavor fireworks come in, they something about our lives at that moment. Iconic.

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