I finished listening to the only hit I can remember Better Than Ezra charting with.  And I still think it gets its airplay because it is one of the few songs any of us know that mentions the 4th of July.

It will be a peculiar 4th.  We are required to work that day, though the number of clients will be minimal.  Half of my day will be spent on the payroll and the only difference between tomorrow and any other work day will be that I can wear shorts and a flag tee to the office and that I will join our clients for a small celebration in the gym at the end of the day.  Plans to celebrate outside were tanked by what could be a hundred degree day….fine for me, not so for most others including our staff.  I get why someone with seizure disorder needs to be inside, but not our “wilting flowers.”  Though when I am squirreled away this winter  I will be able to relate to these as I listen to them criticize me for not being able to handle a little cold.

I there anything like summer?  So much joy, so much to think of!  Walking around in the brutal heat of the day.  Sitting on a porch beneath a star covered flag and staring to the heavens at the star covered night and talking about the truest things.  There is nothing like summer.

I remember an episode of The Twilight Zone (the eighties anthology, not the sixties.)  A young woman is denied a transplant because an aged and selfish man buys an organ out from under her at a hospital that relies on his money.  Shortly after she dies, this man is facing his death and growing cold.  She visits him and be begs her to take him with her as she returns home.  She says she cannot because the place she lives in is warm and where he is going it is very cold.  She then says, “odd but when I was growing up I always thought it the other way around.”     I always liked this because I always thought heaven must be a warm place.

Then there is Marina’s memory….the child who could not be brought in from a summer’s day.  She loved playgrounds and street fairs.  She loved the North Park Nature Center and cruises on the Chicago river.  She loved a lake in Wisconsin.  She loved the gardens and woodland behind her grandparents’ home.  Heaven must be a warm place.

She was given over to the pursuit of happiness.  And that always made me feel glad to be the same way.    And we often make happiness such a shallow word, but isn’t it really the outcome of joy?

Now we are coming up on a celebration of being a people of this proud land which says that the Creator Himself has given to us the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of this wonderful thing.   25,000 died to secure this, mostly young men who had very few summers in their lives and this is very sad, but their gift is that millions have had many millions of summers and other seasons in this great land.  How wonderful that we have been for 236 years a beacon to the world that the individual counts for something and though our story has not always been noble, it has been one of increasing liberty.

Tomorrow will be Independence Day.  I will be away from the place of friendship and family to pursue my vocation, but I will also have the joy of the day in remembering the gifts of our  good land.  And though I will know a little discomfort in the heat of the day,  I will also remember the joy of the warmth of summer’s companionship and the joy of being one more person among free people.    This will be good.

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