Standing In a Parking Lot on the 4th of July


Dad always liked this day. He was a WWII vet and he saw something else when he looked up in the evening sky.

Quite different than what I saw.


Mrs. and I grew up only a couple miles apart although we didn't know each other.

We figured out that we both went to the same shopping center parking lot to watch fireworks on the 4th of July. I probably saw her and thought she was a pretty little girl, setting in place unknown forces that led to this life long drama we act out each day. 

Time feels like a cocoon

We wrap ourselves and imagine another time

Free of constraints

and full of wonder

sparkling recall

dad saw something else in the fireworks

the risk he and the others of his time took

we stood there enraptured

by the beauty and the pomp and ceremony

and he remembered the smoke and fire

the screams and the death

he witnessed

to keep the peace

and the independence

we felt in our marrow

like a birth right


by circumstance

safe in our cocoons.

Image via Google

Views: 97

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on July 3, 2018 at 10:39am


Comment by Rosigami on July 3, 2018 at 3:10pm

I like this a lot. You've captured something important in how each person views the world based on their own experiences and memories (Which of course are different things entirely) and you threw in a little bit of that indefinable thing we sometimes call serendipity and sometimes fate.

The blp and I were both born in Brooklyn and later in life ended up living just a few miles apart, never actually meeting until we were each a half century into our lives. It is possible that our paths, if not crossed, then moved pretty darn close at times. 

I know that every decision, every step, every choice I made over my life had its consequences - good, bad, or indifferent-  eventually landing me in the here and now. "What if ?" is not a question I can ask myself, except as an exercise in creating a fictional version of my life. I mostly like the one I have.

Fireworks, favorite memory is of the annual informal and illegal event that took place at the little community beach on the Sound in Wading River, Long Island. Local law enforcement monitored at a distance, allowing kids and adults to set up and shoot off fireworks over the water. We could see other communities doing the same along the shores to the West, as well as the answering barrage of sparkle and noise across the water on the Connecticut side.

This shared experience always made me fee! connected to the community and the world around me. 

Comment by Maui Surfer on July 3, 2018 at 5:24pm

In a semi-heated discussion one fine day at luncheon at the Pearl Harbor Officers Club one of the Admirals chimed in with both sincerity and conceit, "Well, if you had to have your country taken over be damn glad it was by America." This doesn't make the overthrow right, so many of us here don't celebrate it the same way, but, it also is hard to argue with if one is true to themselves. Hot Dogs beat gruel.

Comment by Steel Breeze on July 4, 2018 at 5:39am

R&L........but,not a fireworks fan......still flinch.....

Comment by alsoknownas on July 4, 2018 at 7:15am

Thank you all who stopped in for a moment to reflect.

The small town parade starts in a couple of hours, and the park is scheduled for an old time social.

Enjoy your day.

Comment by koshersalaami on July 4, 2018 at 7:18am

SB, You just demonstrated the perspective difference beautifully in less time than it takes to recite a haiku

AKA great photo

My phone doesn’t give me those colors with fireworks


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