Happy 4th of July

For me, the 4th of July is all of the beauty of summer bundled into one day (or a few, if you celebrate it slowly like my family). It is life heightened and in the present. Ideally, the day is spent outside enjoying the family and friends around you, being ‘unplugged’ from the tech world, playing games, sharing stories, talking, perhaps listening to or making music, enjoying the fruits of the season (blueberries, cherries and watermelons!), laughing and living! Sometimes, the day is added to by a parade, swimming in the pool, getting bit by mosquitoes, catching lightening bugs, or watching fireworks. No matter what the year’s tales, the memories I take away from the 4th are of feeling centred, relaxed, rejuvenated, and grateful.

While I won’t be in the US for the 4th this year and our celebration will be considerably chillier here in Scotland, the summer memories created last month that will last me the season are:

*Racing my nephew around the block, barefoot in the rain

*Evening dog walks, watching the lightening bugs relay their messages into the distance

*My wife’s first glimpse of lightening bugs (can you tell that I adore these insects?!)

*Watching my parents wander by the river: laughing, hugging and talking

*Sitting around talking with my sisters, nieces and nephew(s)

*Flying on the amusement park swings at sunset

*Following a map through Philadelphia in pursuit of murals

*The sound of the crowd, organ and ball on bat at the baseball game [Honey’s: the vastness of the stadium, the open space]

*Encountering new art, intentional and accidental, at every turn in Philly, Boston and New York

*Catching up with friends

*Seeing my grown sister wrap up in her new ‘baby’ blanket, testing the feel and memories that I had recreated for her

*Sitting on an inner tube in darkness, being propelled through the slide in unknown twisty ways while hearing the rush of the water carrying me. The excitement of not knowing where I’d go next with the knowledge that I was safe on the journey.

*Riding the tilt-a-whirl (her favourite ride) with my mom and listening to her joyous screeches of laughter as we’re flung around

*Friendly chirps and kitty kisses from the family’s 17 year old cat who is much more loving as her memory fades

*Riding a rollercoaster with my dad, second only to touring the garden with him

*Swinging on a porch swing at my sister’s new house while catching each other upon our lives

*Being in Pennsylvania during the summer

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