Friday, June 29, 2007

Freedom Writers (Not the Movie)

It’s happening.

The fireworks stands are being set up on street corners everywhere and pyromaniacs young and old are dropping cash on products with names like Burning Locust, Sparks of Death, and Fire Demon. Red, white, and blue have become the colors of choice in grocery stores. And grill masters everywhere are firing up the grills. Independence Day is here! (Well, almost.)

Ever since I was young, July 4th has run a close second to Christmas as my favorite holiday. I love everything about it: the backyard pool parties/barbecues; the fireworks shows; the fact that it’s encouraged to eat a hot dog, potato chips, and a snow cone for dinner.

But most of all I appreciate the wonderful and hard-won freedoms it stands for. I think sometimes I take for granted that I can write whatever I want to write. I don’t have anyone telling me what I can and can’t put into a story. Except my mom who on first read of my novel, The Icing on the Cake, told me I had inadvertently named a character after one of my dad’s favorite San Francisco Giants and suggested I change it. (I knew the name sounded good for some reason.) It is true that this great freedom, as all things, can be used for less than worthy pursuits, but I appreciate the bounteous good it has facilitated.

So if you’re planning on celebrating this July 4th, take a minute amid the festivities to start a good book (I’ve heard there’s this new one called The Icing on the Cake that’s supposed to be pretty good), sing a good song (no one knows the real words to The Star Spangled Banner, just fake it), or enjoy a good piece of art, and appreciate the incredible freedoms this holiday celebrates.

Wow. It’s late. Off to bed for me. Now that I have The Star Spangled Banner stuck in my head, it might take a little longer than anticipated.


Marsha Ward said...

Hey Dia,

Thanks for sticking me with "The Star Spangled Banner" so early in the morning. I do know the words, LOL! In fact, just the other day, I was getting a fruit smoothie at the local coffee house (it has free Internet and great sandwiches), and the radio was playing the fourth verse. I sang along. What a thrill! That song made me stand a little straighter that day.

I don't know how I'll celebrate the Fourth this year, but I'll be thinking of you and this evocative post. Thanks!

Tamra Norton said...

Is it almost the 4th of July already? Summer is slipping by so fast. We will definitely have a fantastic 4th, and when I'm shoveling in those yummy BBQ beans--my specialty--I'll think of you.

Thanks for thte reminder about our freedoms! We are truly blessed.

Tristi Pinkston said...

The 4th is a very special holiday at our house, not only for the reasons that you mention, but my daughter was born on the 4th.