This weekend will be the Fourth of July holiday. This means fireworks. It has already started. Monday night at ten o’clock just as we were all settling down to get ready for bed there was a huge detonation, which must have been some kind of test as it was not repeated. Last night at about the same time there were several repeats in short succession. I and the cats are not fans of explosions of any kind and that includes firecrackers. The large public displays are one thing, because they are usually in an area where they don’t sound like they are happening under your bedroom window and they are a one time instance. It’s the backyard type I have trouble with. There is nothing beautiful to see, only stressful noise. This backyard business is fortunately almost exclusively confined to the Fourth of July weekend, and the holiday celebrated as Independence Day.
The holiday gets it’s name from the signing of the Declaration of Independence from Britain by the North American colonies in 1776. This year it is Britain declaring it’s independence from the European Union. I am too disgusted by American politics to have much interest to be frank, but I try to follow and understand what’s going on around the world. I tried to get some real information on the voting and found it was split 52 to 48 for and against. When you think about it, that is a pretty narrow margin, leaving half the people in the country with a result they didn’t want. Younger people voted overwhelmingly to stay in but fewer younger people voted, diminishing the effect. Scotland as a separate entity voted to stay. This does not surprise me. On a trip to Scotland in 1995 I met B & B owners who were filling their rooms with Scandinavian tourists, and I met a man who owned a packing and meat processing business enjoying a surge of business from France big enough to cause him to learn French. There is now renewed discussion of Scotland trying another referendum to leave the United Kingdom.
Why is it everyone wants to be independent, nationally, ethnically or individually? The word means different things to different people. It’s understandable oppressed minorities want to be free of oppression. If you are among the many with toxic or over-demanding bosses at work, you may yearn to be the boss of your own business. In the end it all boils down to the fact that no one wants independence from a satisfying and creative job, a loving and fulfilling relationship, a country with opportunity to make a good living and be free of fear or an association that benefits it’s members. We want independence from things we perceive as wrong or unfair or dangerous to our well-being.
I will celebrate the holiday, not with the fireworks the cats hate so much but with a nice picnic feast. The cats will get treats and catnip and I will have lots of fruit and my favorite snacks. I will grill some salmon and make pasta salad. We will eat indoors of course, because the cats are indoor only and because the weather has been oppressively humid with no sign of change. Only after sunset does it become tolerable. I will watch the fireflies rising in the comfort of my living room and gather the cats close and comfort them when the noise starts. And most of all, I will renew my determination for us to find our own independence.