History

A Week in Review, Ponderings of the Universe and Why the Fireworks?

July 6, 2017
Pool Party - Fireworks

Summer seems to be flying by.  Perhaps that is because we have been pretty busy!  It is cliché to say, but time “flies when you are having fun.”

And, also when you are busy!

The night before last we wrapped up a week of activities, including the last regular season swim meet, a kids’ rock concert, art camp, meeting several members of the Paw Patrol and a Monopoly game played over several days, with the celebration of America’s independence.

Last Swim Meet - Fireworks

Monopoly - Fireworks

Paw Patrol - Fireworks

Pool Party - Fireworks

241 years and counting.

“The original Brexit” as my husband stated on his FaceBook page.

The Fourth of July is a holiday that ignites grills across the United States and infinite fireworks displays launched to the tune of Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA.”  A celebration of freedom and independence.

Fireworks

When I gaze into the sky, with or without fireworks, during the daytime or at night, I am quickly reminded of my size with respect to the universe in which we live.  And, the more I ponder it, the more I realize how minuscule my time on Earth is.

Give or take a few years, plus forty, is barely a speck within 241 years let alone within the history of the universe.

Here are some historical tidbits that tend to put me on my heels when I think about time and all of the people (and creatures) who have lived on Earth:

  • Machu Picchu was built around 1450 and was abandoned just over 100 years later.  It’s restoration continues today.

Machu Picchu - Fireworks

  • The Mayan civilization began around 2600 B.C.

Mayan Ruins - Fireworks

  • The earliest known Pyramid in Egypt was built around 2630 B.C.

Pyramids - Fireworks

  • Dinosaurs roamed the Earth over 65 million years ago.
  • Scientists estimate that the Earth was formed 4.54 billion years ago.

Time.  At the risk of sounding like a broken record:  time doesn’t stop.  It passes by and stacks up behind us with a vastness so great it is almost unfathomable.

When I reign myself back in from my infinite thoughts of the universe unknown, and the microscopic speck that I am within it all, I reflect on our swim season.  I know that is crazy, but sometimes that is how I think because sometimes stress or joy requires proper (or extreme) perspective.

I realize that as the season ends, I am starting to question with less frequency the crazy lady (ahem) who signed the kids up for something that forces me to drag them from their slumbers four mornings per week.

Summer swim league has grown to be worth the early mornings, as the children see the fruits of their commitment and we all grow in our enjoyment of the sport.  It was always worth it, the perspective just had to change.  It was an uphill battle won, defeating the conflict deep within my soul that longs for unscheduled and sleepy summer days.

I know that the same crazy woman will sign them up next year, even though she knows it is a commitment and commitment naturally conflicts with the freedom of summer.  I just hope that between now and then or now and the next sport season I slow my pendulum into a balanced position between pushing the opportunity to participate in a sport and not offering any opportunity at all.  It is a struggle and a topic for another day.

And, how could I forget to share with you that I am happy to report that this fourth of July we didn’t lose anyone, nor did Isaac Newton do our dishes!  We didn’t even have to meet up with any of our offspring at the spot we pre-designated as their lost and found go-to location when we arrived at the event.

When you lose your child for 5-6 minutes at a massive fireworks display you try to make sure that, or worse, doesn’t ever happen again.

The children went to bed the latest they have in their lifetimes and limped along sleepily all day yesterday ebbing and flowing from giddy to grumpy.

As I reflected on our holiday celebrations with a friend, her ponderings led me to investigate why we celebrate Independence Day with fireworks.  She had no idea.  This mama brain had no idea.  And, perhaps we both once knew, but who really knows!  All that matters is now I know and you can too. 🙂

Why the Fireworks?

Fireworks to celebrate America’s independence was originally suggested by John Adams in a letter to his wife, Abigail.  Within his letter he predicted “a great anniversary festival” suggesting celebrations complete with, “pomp and parade, with shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more.”

The first display of fireworks to celebrate independence from Britain took place on the very first Independence Day celebration on July 4, 1777.  The evening closed with the ringing of bells and a fireworks display that began and ended with thirteen rockets to symbolize the 13 colonies.

Similar celebrations have taken place ever since.

Today’s Independence Day fireworks displays far exceed the original one 240 years ago. And, I predict it is a tradition that will continue well into the future.

I think John Adams would be quite pleased.  Don’t you?

XO, Melissa the mamabrain at Mama Brains

Melissa - Fireworks

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