The Fort of July


There is a FORT in comfort.
Sometimes hiding inside a word can help.
                                  Naomi Shihab-Nye

It’s a difficult fourth of July, but I am hiding inside words and clouds, keeping my head down and my heart open.  It’s a foggy morning, and the fog feels like a fortress, and we are fortunate to be here, fortifying ourselves with the smiles of children and the nearness of loved ones.

I rode my bike in the morning and came upon the roadrunner that frequents the canyon, and I followed him for a while. There’s always something a little ludicrous about roadrunners, that frantic zig-zag dash that segues into lift-off, a series of pauses and starts, the anxious bluster of indecision. No wonder they star in cartoons.

I was headed to the beach to see some local children ride their horses in an impromptu holiday parade. I stood on the shore and waited for them to come through the mist, a motley crew, with little flags held proudly.

I watched my daughter and Monte too, riding waves in the distance, both so dearly loved. Friends stopped by, and the air was strewn with ribbons of conversation, and playful dogs were frolicking, and there were dolphins in the water, very near.

We’re calling this a celebration, because we’re here right now, and we aren’t done, and hope is our forte.

Happy birthday, America…America, you great unfinished symphony…as Lin-Manuel Miranda describes it in Hamilton

Our nation has been highjacked, but we haven’t forgotten who we are. We are people from everywhere, and we care about each other. You sent for me. You let me make a difference.

We go forth, doing our best, making an effort, and there’s a fort in that too.

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