Thursday, July 2, 2009


This is the week I think of the owls, for this is the week when the fireworks come.
On a night very soon, on the heels of a faintly heard march by Sousa, the black sky shall split under salvos of colour, the heavens recast as bomb shattered stained glass. Umbrellas of red, blue and green, opening and closing, then opening again, each jewel tone joined by concussions of sound that tromp through the woodlands like the footfalls of giants.
I have always wondered. What must the owls think? Those silent night gliders with their secretive lives, who normally have the darkness all to themselves. Do they lose their way with reliable Orion now obliterated by this strange detonation of rainbows? Do their orange eyes widen in fear of this technicolour end of the world?
Or perhaps, given their wisdom, do they have this night circled on their woody kitchen calendars, to remind themselves that this is the way the people below express their patriotism every Fourth of July?

The day will be the most memorable in America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade...bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other, from this day forward, forevermore."

John Adams, in a letter to his wife, Abigail,
after the Continental Congress decided to proclaim the American colonies
independent from Britain.

Painting above: Fireworks, by James Lynch