“And no, we don’t know where it will lead. We just know there’s something much bigger than any of us here.” – Steve Jobs
This past weekend was July 4th – my favorite holiday. It’s largely my favorite holiday because of nostalgic memories of how it used to be celebrated in my family. We would make a day of it – burgers, home-made banana ice cream, fireworks – it was magical. While it doesn’t have the same feeling or excitement that it used to, Independence Day is still a holiday I look forward to celebrating.
During the fireworks show, the national anthem began to play and I looked around, with tears in my eyes, as everyone around me began to sing. Some sang goofy (and perhaps tipsy), others held their hand to heart, still others whipped out their smart-phones to start recording. Suddenly, there was a community that had formed in that parking lot. A few minutes ago we were all onlookers who didn’t want to pay $8 to watch the fireworks from the stadium, but now we were all in unison singing and smiling (and in my case crying).
It is nice, to celebrate with others in community. People would never ordinarily gather in a parking lot and get to know strangers. People would not normally have neighborhood wide cook outs – at least not in my neighborhood. But on July 4th, people are celebrating, thanking veterans, and putting aside differences to enjoy the day.
There are several traditions that accompany all holidays – this one included. I’m always glad to participate. It makes me remember that I am a part of something larger than just me. It makes me think about how the holiday will be celebrated in future generations. It makes me feel like John Adams would be proud that today it is celebrated “with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.” It reminds me that I am not alone.
I hope, if you are not American, that you can relate to the spirit of this post. I hope, if you are American, that you were able to enjoy the holiday with excitement. I hope you know that you are not alone in your celebration.