Like many of you, we are celebrating a very quiet 4th of July this year. It doesn't feel celebratory. It just feels . . . quiet. And more than a little sad.
Yet . . . here we are.
I've been thinking about 4th of Julys in days-gone-by. Parades. Cookouts. Family picnics. Watermelon. Fireworks at the lake.
This year? It's me and Tom . . . and Hamilton on tv.
And JoJo in her ThunderVest, cowering under our feet.
Maybe you've seen the "We are all Fauci" t-shirts? Well. I think I should create a "We are all JoJo" t-shirt from this picture. Because here we are, feeling just like JoJo . . . bewildered, afraid, confused, and strapped into a ThunderShirt while living through "hell week." (If you're into fireworks, please think of all the petrified animals out there this weekend. And maybe re-consider the whole practice.)
Anyway. Here's a poem for you on this Friday. May it bring to mind happier celebrations in past days (certainly) -- and in the future (hopefully). And . . . may it serve as a reminder that we can still find and share joy.
In the Fourth of July Parade
Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
Right down the middle of main street
the woman with the long red braids
and fairy wings strapped to her back
rode a unicycle more than two times
taller than she was—rode it with balance
and grace, her arms stretched out,
as if swimming through gravity,
as if embracing space—her smile an invitation
to join in her bliss. How simple it is, really,
to make of ourselves a gate that swings open
to the joy that is. How simple, like tossing
candy in a parade, to share the key to the gate.
My best wishes to all of you . . . for a weekend filled with peace and solace, time to rest -- and things that bring you joy. (And maybe some poetry, too.) (Also Hamilton.)
Today's poem was published in American Life In Poetry: Column 797, edited by Ted Kooser. Information about the poet can be found here.