Monday, July 05, 2010

A Quiet 4th

When we moved down here full time, I really looked forward to the 4th and the celebration here on the island. We were here about 10 years ago and had enjoyed the parade and fireworks so much. When I found that the parade was on Saturday the 3rd instead of the 4th, I was a bit disappointed. I volunteer in the CROW clinic on Saturday mornings. I know I could have said I wasn't coming in but all of our students were going to be gone to be in the parade which left only 4 people besides me to man the whole place for about 3 hours. That and the fact that in a couple of weeks I'm leaving for a month, I didn't feel it was fair. So I worked instead of going to the parade. And, believe it or not, I wasn't at all disappointed. I had a great morning with the skeleton staff and the critters.

It didn't look for awhile that Sanibel was going to have fireworks because they didn't have the funds but some caring and very gracious residents chipped in and raised enough money to purchase the fireworks. The causeway seems to be the spot where most people go to watch the fireworks. When we were here before, that's where we went so that's where we planned to go.

It rained or was really gloomy most of yesterday so it looked like the fireworks might be a washout. But it cleared about 7:00 so at 8:00 we decided to head to the causeway. Just as we were leaving we saw a faint but beautiful rainbow.I had really wondered about going to the boat ramp to watch the fireworks but figured with no C parking pass we couldn't go there. But as we were passing the Chamber of Commerce I noticed people parking there and walking down to the foot of the bridge. So we pulled in and joined the crowd. We couldn't have found a better spot!Traffic across the bridge to and from the causeway islands was non stop. In factit piled up and was almost at a standstill. Sanibel's Finest kept driving back and forth announcing that there was no parking on the bridge. I had forgotten from 10 years ago but there were a LOT of private fireworks being launched out on the causeway islands. I don't always feel too safe around those kinds of fireworks so I'm glad we didn't go out there.

Someone kept shooting off flares which actually were pretty amazing since they hung up in the sky for what seemed like forever.The sky was beautiful as the sun was setting. By the way, the fireworks were launched just in front of the tall pole you can see in the pictures. (I think it is an osprey nest.)There were tons of boats gathered out in the water to watch the fireworks. After dark, it looked like a small city out there. The fireworks started about 9:00 and lasted for about 20 minutes. It was a wonderful display. Unfortunately my pictures don't really do it justice.
I'm sure practically everyone has seen the quote from a letter that John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail. He had envisioned the celebration to be on the 2nd as that is when Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence from England. It was signed on the 4th which is when we now celebrate.

"The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more."

Many years ago, I had the extreme pleasure and privilege to direct the musical, 1776, at the Fort Findlay Playhouse in Findlay, Ohio. I love that show, the music, the characters, the story, the history etc. One of the songs that always stuck in my head was "Is Anybody There" where John sings "Is anybody there? Does anybody care? Does anybody see what I see?" And a verse in that song paraphrases his letter to Abigail.
I see fireworks! I see the pageant and
Pomp and parade
I hear the bells ringing out
I hear the cannons roar
I see Americans - all Americans
Free forever more

Well, John (who just happens to be a very distant cousin of mine), you guys did a great job for those of us who followed you. Thank you and thanks to all of the men and women who serve and who have served not only their country but all of us by keeping this country free forever more.


gpc said...

What a nice way to celebrate. But I hope it wasn't an occupied ospreys' nest!

Neptunesmuse said...

The sky is beautiful with or without the fireworks.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Wow---what a perfect place to be to enjoy the 4th of july.. I love seeing the sunset --and the fireworks... Makes me wish i had have been right THERE.