Posted By admin on July 4, 2013
The first 4th I remember, I was perched on the side of a hill, which is probably just a soft rise on the beach, near the old pier at Tybee Island, the one that used to drift out to sea pretty much every year. My parents, talking softly behind me. My little brother, holding my hand because he didn’t love the dark. (Odd, because his one flaw in adulthood is that he’s truly fearless.) My older brother is standing off to the right–being on the cusp of teenagerdom, and the other two younger ones are chasing each other on the sand in front of us.
Suddenly, from the pier, lights shoot into the sky. Blue and green and yellow and red. Stars literally bursting overhead.
Ooohs and aaahs from the houses behind us and the little knots of shadows–families who’ve walked down the beach, like we have. Those beautiful lights falling into the ocean. Why don’t we hear a sizzle when they drown in the water?
Over and over, huge flowers of lights in the sky. And the scent of something that smelled kind of good and kind of too much. Funny now, to think how far that gunpowder smoke drifted.
All too soon, the last firework exploded, and for me, the last set of stars bloomed in the black sky.
We walked back down the ribbon of sand–to home. The seven of us. A group. A family. A memory of love.
Let freedom ring.