Monday, July 4, 2011

July 4, 2011 Nashville

Here is a view of the Ensworth School Bell tower, taken from the Harpeth River Greenway across an unmowed field of Johnson grass and ironweed. I took it on this morning's walk as I stopped to listen to music coming from the carillon. Whether it was real or taped, I do not know. But there it was between seven-thirty and eight.

Another humid morning with thunder in the distance and twenty-seven days of our hottest month left to get through. But I have decided this year not to be satisfied with enduring July. I want to enjoy living every day of it, for what if I never see another? So today I am glad to see a blue grosbeak on the paved trail, searching the ground for breakfast. To see a brown thrasher and a male goldfinch, resplendent and singing. To see a family of Indigo buntings.

The Fourth of July has never meant much to me beyond potato salads and picnics I never made it to because I was working, recuperating from work ,or getting ready to go to work. But I once had the privilege of being off on one of the landmark Fourths of all time. I was living in Woodstock, Vermont then. In a small apartment of a big yellow house known as 22 The Green. I spent that Fourth walking out past the Billings Farm, out along the road that followed the Ompompanoosuc River . I saw farm children laughing and playing on the hill behind their barn. They were waving flags for it was July 4, 1976, the Bicentennial. In New York Harbor, in came the Regatta of the Tall Ships, broadcast for all to see. We were hopeful then. Watergate was over. Vietnam was over. I was 26 years old.

I will not live to see the Tricentennial, and I wonder what will be celebrated then. Better we cannot see the future. And even though I must drive out to work tonight to cover the clinic in a place no one is free, I will enjoy this day.

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