The 4th of July makes me miss the East Coast. California is strung up with banners and Americana and my neighborhood is already neck-deep in fireworks and flag can beers but that makes me miss it more. The fourth in New Hampshire or Boston felt like an event, a way to look back on things instead a flag-waving drunkfest.
Part of that, I’m sure, is time-based. Fourth of July in Franconia was all about duck races, fire trucks, parades and shortcake because I was a kid. But New England, to me feels and looks and smells like the heart of summer, which, to me, is quintessential America.
I have a sort of ambivalent relationship with patriotism. I feel luck to live in America, I guess, but it’s nothing that’s ever shaped me, and I feel weird when people start slinging American pride and “aren’t you proud of your freedom-isms,” especially when they assume you think the same way.
I guess Independence Day in New England felt more reflective than outward looking and I miss that.