Our neighborhood is one of the favored locations to watch fireworks. So when we started walking 15 minutes before the fireworks were scheduled to begin, I wasn’t convinced we would find a decent viewing spot.
We reached the main drag and joined hundreds of others looking for the perfect overlook. The street looked like something from one of the many zombie movies popular today, only this group wasn’t the undead, they were very much alive, excited for the upcoming show and inebriated from an afternoon of celebrating Independence Day, weaving their way with their red solo cups, stopping to take group pictures, arms thrown around each-others necks, screaming endearments to one another.
I began to hunt for a break along the fence.
There is was. A spot. It was huge compared to the numbers deep on each side of it. I wondered if it was reserved, or forbidden, or the large leafy vegetation that bordered it was poison sumac. Regardless, my little entourage planted our flag.
As we stood, patiently waiting for the pyrotechnics to begin, I began to worry that everyone knew something we didn’t know — that this vantage point sucked. Not being Pittsburgh natives and not making the yearly patriotic trek to see the fireworks, I assumed we were missing something. I asked my compatriots, “Do you think we will be able to see them from here?”
They didn’t know either. But my question now lived in their minds too. Doubt, like fear, is often contagious.
Tom and Greg decided they would do some recognizance work and check out the bar-with-a-view just up the street. Several minutes later they returned. No luck. The bar was closed to a private party.
So this was it. We could leave and keep looking, but we may lose this spot. I have a rule in the grocery store check-out line or in the bank drive thru…never leave your line. Experience has proven that when I change lines/lanes, the original choice always moves faster.
“Let it go Patricia,” I said to myself, “if you can’t see you can’t see. It’s not that bad.” I called on my spiritual training to let be was is.
And now, as if we were early pioneers, others had taken up camp with us. We were surrounded. This once empty stretch was currently 3 people deep.
The first flare went up. The crowd went silent.
It was like a private show. Just for us. I smiled to myself, “Will I ever learn?” All my worry and distrust for naught. We had the best view on the street. I relaxed and allowed myself to be enchanted by color, the drama, and the force of these rockets exploding before me.
As the finale crescendoed with thundering bursts of white cascades, I felt a childlike awe…like I was seeing something for the first time. My opened mouth smile was full bodied. Every cell was alive and captivated. I was enthralled. Totally.
Fireworks are a generous gift. A free treat. I don’t know how much they cost to display but I assume they are not cheap. I so appreciate the lavish offering that is still able to transfix me.
I loved feeling that happy.