Tomorrow our nation will celebrate its roots and we ourselves will go in search of a fireworks display. Some of my fondest memories are of lying supine on velvety summer grass, gasping at vibrant hues exploding over my head. Hearing someone’s toddler gasping, Ooooh, wow! Ooooh, wow! over and over again. Watching the wonder on the faces of my young daughters whose delight is conflicted by the frightening noises surrounding them. Bundling everyone back into the car to wait interminably in traffic before making the journey home to the serenity of the woods and the lake.

For some, this day will carry a much different flavor in their hearts. It will be yet one more reminder, on the virtual tail of Memorial Day, of loved ones lost in battle. In my mind these losses are a tragic failure of an adolescent nation that still jumps to posturing rather than reflection, preferring aggression over conciliation.

Freedom isn’t free. Americans have all heard this, ad infinitum. But there are varying degrees of interpretation to the statement. While I’m thinking of the cost in time, energy and “face” while attempting to reconcile differing viewpoints in order to discover peaceful resolution, others have war on their minds. Freedom remains costly as long as innocent lives are at stake, and war ensures lives, innocent and otherwise, will always be held in the balance. Then there’s the more covert loss of innocence: that of too many eighteen year-old recruits with stars in their eyes and determination creasing tender brows, launching into battles they believe to be noble causes. Yet upon returning, few will tell you – those who can bring themselves to speak of experiences on the front lines – that glory was indeed beheld in the taking of towns and trembling human beings. Thus I remain wary and conflicted on national celebration days.

In Hawaii, locals simply love celebration because it means convening family and friends together to enjoy food and festivities and blessed days off work. I love this about the Hawaiian people. Never mind that this is a conquered kingdom; forgive and forget and gather the goodness of what really matters close to your heart. And so it is that we set out in search of fireworks – to join families and peaceful, joyous community who delight in sharing music and laughter and yes, the beauty of exploding lights in the sky. I count my blessings in the grace of living amidst such acceptance and aloha.


15 thoughts on “FIREWORKS

  1. “…. and were we to win the day, we will call it the Independence Day!”

    In the end, the solution would lie in ” letting go”. Of gaining the conviction that attempts to aggrandise resources can never be sustainable. History has shown us that repeatedly.

    Lovely, incisive and thoughtprovoking post, Bela!



    1. Shakti, you responded to this post as I was responding to your comment on my post LOVE LETTER. I’ll offer again your comment therein:

      “When we decide to champion others by looking for the best in them and interact with them in such as manner that they are clear that we hold them as intrinsically good and worthy of our love and respect, we provide for them a new and exciting opportunity for them to show up for us in this manner.”

      Oh, if only I could live long enough to see this realized in the world! Then truly we could ALL celebrate Independence Day!

      Blessings, dear man.


  2. A wonderful and thougtful post. The young man who left the above comment certainly understands the world and how it turns, sometimes it does seem to wobble, but we can all pray for a safe journey around the sun. Blessings to you on this July 4, another Independence Day America!


  3. You cause me to consider something: Island life presents a microcosm or concentrate of world issues and forces us to respond to the consequences of our insensitive actions. The habits of humanity affect us profoundly – it’s under our nose; not at arm’s length. We can’t ignore or avoid. I don’t know how people can stay quiet.


    1. Amy, your comment brings to mind Enya’s interpretation of the old hymn “How Can I Keep from Singing?” – as apropos to share now as ever. There are so many frustrations with how things are being handled on a grand scale. But ultimately, the hope is that love will prevail in these days when so many are ‘waking up’ to their individual participation in global consciousness. And you are right, it seems more imperative to grasp the fundamentals of human consciousness as we observe the consequences of our actions in a microcosm.

      Thanks for the reminder which I interpret as an inherent danger in not expressing what’s in our hearts while so many suffer. I am truly privileged to live on an island where Aloha is a way of life, but I never lose sight of a world in the midst of transformation and turmoil. Blessings.


      My life goes on in endless song
      Above earth’s lamentations
      I hear the reel, though far-off hymn
      That hails a new creation.

      Through all the tumult and the strife
      I hear its music ringing,
      It sounds an echo in my soul
      How can I keep from singing?

      While though the tempest loudly roars
      I hear the truth, it liveth.
      And though the darkness ’round me close
      Songs in the night it giveth.

      No storm can shake my inmost calm
      While to that rock I’m clinging
      Since love is lord of heaven and earth
      How can I keep from singing?

      When tyrants tremble in their fear
      And hear their death knell ringing
      When friends rejoice both far and near
      How can I keep from singing?

      In prison cell and dungeon vile
      Our thoughts to them are winging
      When friends by shame are undefiled
      How can I keep from singing?


  4. That hymn is indeed beautiful, and a favourite since a friend introduced me to it. I, also was conflicted on Canada’s birthday, as we call our July 1 celebrations, but your post is very wise, I think. I have sat for the past hour or so looking out onto the glorious morning that dawns in my little city, and enjoying the peace and stillness. Soon, the traffic will start roaring by, and I cannot help but ponder what we have wrought …to mar this beauty with endless streams of cars…

    But still, how can I keep from singing? For it IS a glorious day.


    1. I agree, dear one – it’s always holding these polarities in balance, for me. The good, the bad and the ugly, so to speak. And the redemption is ever present in life itself, which all beings are equally entitled to – the earth gives us all “ha” – the breath of life. That is the literal meaning of Aloha – “the breath of life to you!”

      Wishing you a peaceful, lovely day.


  5. Bela,
    Prone is a body position in which one lies flat with chest down and back up. Supine is the antonym. Supine is lying down face up. The professor who taught me anatomy said a good way to remember supine is to think of how it sounds like “soup” and how one would hold a soup bowl in one’s palm facing up and the hand being prone would be palm down.


    1. ML, thanks so much – duly noted and corrected! I wrote this in a bit of a rush, and somehow that word stuck in my craw, but I wasn’t sure why. When I did a quick dictionary check, all I saw was “lying flat” and gave up beyond that. I can see how “sUPine” will be remembered now, for me 😉


    1. Eve, yes, the theme I am using (Duotone) has such a lovely variety of colors – it picks up a predominate color in the background of the selected image, and that becomes the post’s background color (over which I exert no control) – changing all the time. Unfortunately for folks like you (though this is the first time I’ve heard of difficulties reading), the print comes out white. Some backgrounds are darker, providing more contrast. This one is a little more difficult. I don’t believe this is the case in the Reader, though – that’s usually just black print on a white background. At least that’s how I see if on my laptop and iPad. Sorry, Eve!


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