It was a long, hot day filled with furniture assembly and nagging ideological frustrations. By evening I was tired, pensive, and uncomfortable. After dinner we cleaned the kitchen and then drove “down town.” (A term with a very different meaning in Williamsburg rather than Washington.) Parking the car we joined throngs of other folding-chair-and-cooler-toting citizens wending their way towards an open field.

As the sun went down, a breeze came up, and the weight of heat and humidity lifted. My son climbed a tree, and we sat amidst the crowds as the smell of magnolias and other summer flowers lapped about us. The first boom of the fireworks startled him from his perch and he came to sit next to me. The fire danced above us, close enough to feel the concussion from the explosions. Beside me, my little boy kept up a stream of commentary and exclamations until exhaustion finally got the better of exhilaration. He climbed from his chair to my lap, where he quietly let the spectacle wash over him.

I sat looking up at the lights. The smell of the magnolias mingled with the perfume of tired little boy in my nostrils. My wife reached over and rested her hand on the back of my neck for a brief moment. In that instant the tremendous, overpowering, sweetness of life filled my soul, and I silently thanked God for fireworks.

14 comments for “Fireworks

  1. Heather O.
    July 4, 2006 at 11:01 pm

    Careful, Nate. You sound almost human here. You don’t want blow your blog cover.

  2. July 4, 2006 at 11:28 pm

    It was a long, hot day filled with furniture assembly and nagging ideological frustrations.

    I can’t decide which is the lesser or greater of these two evils. Nice post, Nate.

  3. Keith
    July 5, 2006 at 1:17 am


  4. Floyd the Wonderdog
    July 5, 2006 at 7:10 am

    If you love fireworks, thank a chemist.

  5. Chance
    July 5, 2006 at 10:11 am

    Does Williamsburg have a downtown, or did you all just go to the outlet mall?

    Myself, we spent the day at the lake where our middle child developed a cold (it was warm, but windy), and as he laid on the beach he became a meal for a small leech…Good times.

  6. Kristine Haglund Harris
    July 5, 2006 at 10:13 am

    Nate, enough of the smarmy sentimental gratitude–we only really care about your ideological frustrations. Dish!

  7. Adam Greenwood
    July 5, 2006 at 10:50 am

    “and nagging ideological frustrations”?

  8. July 5, 2006 at 11:52 am

    Sorry guys. It is not a post about ideology.

  9. Aaron Brown
    July 5, 2006 at 7:49 pm

    I sat on my roof with friends, watching the fireworks. I had thrown my lower back out the day before, so I literally couldn’t get up afterwards without enduring great pain. And the dog was freaking out too. Almost fell off the roof in terror. Good times.

    Aaron B

  10. MikeInWeHo
    July 6, 2006 at 1:44 am

    We were coming back from a little weekend vacation, and had the most amazing views of fireworks going off all across L.A. as we descended into LAX at about 9pm. It was like the entire city was snapping and cracking: a couple of larger shows and thousands of back yard displays were clearly visible. I had no idea so many people fired off their own fireworks at home. Seeing fireworks from above is really cool. They look so small, yet beautiful.

  11. July 6, 2006 at 1:22 pm

    Our fireworks were all cancelled, because the Heavens had thier own plan. We had the biggest electrical storm I’ve ever seen about 9:30 that night… So we got the light show, and bigger booms than even the biggest firework can pull off- It was cool! And the kids slept right through it all.

  12. gst
    July 6, 2006 at 8:04 pm

    Mike, your experience reminds me of stories that my great-uncle used to tell me about the Blitz. I miss ol’ Uncle Fritz.

  13. MikeInWeHo
    July 7, 2006 at 1:20 am

    Actually, the thought I had at the time (right after “Gosh, I hope none of those get sucked into an engine….”) was: “We are so very small on this planet.” As someone who mostly thinks like a Deist these days, I wondered if my view of the city at that moment was how God sees us. Perhaps He’s just watching our little lights from afar.

  14. John Taber
    July 7, 2006 at 10:02 am

    “Perhaps He’s just watching our little lights from afar.”

    Sometimes I wonder if I’m being watched at all these days . . .

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