If I close my eyes I can see the past playing on the back of my eyelids, a film rolling, flickering on a projector in my mind.
I can see the view from the top of the hill. Towering, strong, emerald green oak and pine flank the roads we ramble down. Aqua blue water shimmering like a million diamonds off in the distance. The air is clean, the sky powder blue, cotton ball clouds skimming its surface.
We are happy tucked into the back of the family van, coolers and beach blankets ready to go.
The smell of campfire lingers on our skin, laced in our clothing and our hair.
This is what Summer was to me. It was real. It was honest. It was joyful and free.
The 4th of July is a lot of things to a lot of people. Family cookouts (grill outs, barbecues, etc), beach days, camping trips, time off, no school, fireworks, sparklers and fireflies.
As I have gotten older I have realized more and more that this freedom, this celebration, is complicated. There is so much to think about, so much cost behind our 'liberation'. This being an election year those thoughts are weighing on me as we enter in to this, another year, celebrating the freedom of our 'great nation'. There are candidates who want to "make America great again" my question is, when did we loose our charm? When did we loose our magic?
I am not a political person, but I am also not naive. America, for all its 'greatness' is terribly flawed and many of those flaws comes from the top down mentality. However, we are a country where individuals and communities have enacted great change; men and women who have fought together, stood together, sat together, prayed, played, danced, believed, shared meals together. That is the America I believe in.
The separation of this nation, the lines we draw are bullshit and someone needs to say it. We are Americans and it's time we figure out what that means, we have lost our identity and we need to get it back. There needs to be a change in our minds, our hearts, and our actions.
I don't have answers or even a game plan for this, I am not the person to start a movement or lead a protest. But I will support my friends. I will be a good neighbor and I will use my freedom of speech and freedom of belief to the best of my abilities.
After all, we are the land of the free to BE. The home of the brave and bold and beautiful.
Happy 4th everyone celebrate the best way you know how, be with those you love and remember how amazing it is that we are free to do so.
Photo cred- vintage packaging design googled by @iamjustlucky