I have an uneasy relationship with fireworks. I fear them in the hands of “civilians”, particularly those who use them in close proximity to me and/or my place of residence. In the hands of professionals, I enjoy their display and yet wonder at the price tag of such displays. I marvel at the technology and creativity that goes into creating both the displays and the fireworks themselves.
This past weekend, I moved from the world of high art and culture in the form of an opera season to celebrate the 4th of July with some of my family members at a short track stock car racing event in the middle of rural Missouri. I listened to an invocation that would have left anyone not viewing God within particular parameters feeling completely excluded. I experienced a chemical toilet that left most of those of us using it feeling “ickky” but which I know exceeds the sanitation standards of many people living around the world. And, ironically, the cost of admission to the “Wild Side” of the I-44 Speedway was the same as the price for the “cheap seats” in the Loretto-Hilton Theatre for the opera….
I also experienced, for the first time in a long time, quiet. I went for over 24 hours without hearing a siren or an airplane. I sat on a big front porch in a big porch swing and knitted, listening to the sounds of my grandsons playing and of wind chimes and bird song and other sounds of summer in the rural Midwest. I was startled by how odd the quiet had become and at how starved for it I felt.
(© Karen Opp. All rights reserved.)