This is summer in Colorado.
Hot dry heat the settles in early and clouds that build by the hour through lunchtime. The thunderheads make their meandering march down from the mountains and east across the plains, throwing lightning and turning the skies alternating shades of bright and blue to dark and grey. When the rain begins it confounds, falling softly in the darkest hours and flooding the street while the sun shines.
This is my favorite time of the year. Soon, hopefully, the clouds will part and the illegal neighborhood fireworks shows will begin. Most people hate them, and I understand. If my anxiety were triggered by the loud booming or if my pets were freaking out, I might hate them too, but it’s quite the opposite.
Both our dog and elderly cat practically sleep through them, and I am awed by both the sound, the light, and all the pretty colors. They are illegal, so I don’t actively encourage them, and I don’t buy or light them myself, but I appreciate those willing to risk a fine and a finger or two to light up the skies tonight.
We left to walk our little street after sundown and the locals didn’t disappoint. We attempted to bring the dog, but we learned she has her limits. The sounds and smells of fireworks going off directly above is overwhelming. She was sent inside, where she promptly forgot all about them.
The neighbors all had their garages open or their kids in tow while they walked the streets. I love the feeling of community on nights like these. No one calls the cops and all get to enjoy an exciting show. On the flip side there seems to be a mutual understanding that setting these off after midnight is unacceptable.
I’m sad to read on social media that other communities don’t have such unspoken understanding. Many called the cops, and many more complained. Many called them out and many more argued and argued and argued.
I realized that my community is, perhaps, a good one, and I am grateful today for my home, my place, and the surrounding people. Though they are little more than strangers to me, they make me feel a sense of peace and connectedness. This and only this is what I celebrate tonight.