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HOME FOR THE FOURTH OF JULY
July 4, 2005
 
It's so good to be back home! I never have a bad time traveling, but I think of home with a longing that is almost physical while I'm away, and the hour before we turn into our own driveway is excitement itself.

The flowers are taller. The lilies are unbelievable. Something in the wine barrel that I thought might be an incipient hollyhock when I left turns out to be a gourd now that I've returned, and I think I will nip it in the bud, before it takes over the yard. More wonders await in the garden, although I don't yet know what they are. You will write your eMo before you do anything else, .I tell myself sternly, knowing that I may never come back in once I've made it outside.

I can't even put the flag up first?

No. Do the eMo, then you can go out.

So write swiftly, and then bring Old Glory up from his hideaway in the basement stairs and hang him on the porch. Put the little flags in the urn of pansies near the road, so that people can see them as they pass by on their way to Main Street for the parade. Make tea and begin a slow tour of the garden. Ask pardon of the birds for my absence, soothe any ruffled feathers with yummy sunflower hearts. Wait for the reproachful cats to appear, and placate them with a big breakfast

Oh, home! We celebrate the birth of the nation with love, and a major portion of what we love is really our own homes, our own neighbors, our own small places. All politics is local, they say, and maybe much of love is, too, needing incarnation in a particular house, a particular street, a particular person in order to be seen and felt. Soak it up, dig your bare home into the thick love of your home and your people, the living and the dead. Tomorrow it will be politics as usual: a sudden Supreme Court vacancy, another one surely on the way. A war fought in our name by young people who don't get to be at home, who may never go home again. Turn again tomorrow to the task of becoming worthy of such sacrifice, becoming even half as good as some of them will die today believing us to be.
Copyright © 2018 Barbara Crafton
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