The 4th of Joo-ly


True, the red, white and blue is plenty blue these days; not blue as in “blue state,” but as in glum (to be generous). Blue’s not everywhere, surely, but it’s a wide hue. Some might say that the only one thing we all do in concert is complain. But even that’s not true; many do not.

Of course, we all get up in the morning; we all do our work, pass our days, eat our three squares — or most of us do anyway. But do we do any one thing together on any one day? 

On the Fourth of July, Independence Day, our national birthday, all of us once, not so long ago, watched a parade, saluted the flag, oohed-and-ahhed at works on fire in the sky. But all of us don’t do all of that altogether anymore.

Yet one thing that we used all to do, we still do, every one of us (for the great majority).

We eat. 

We eat together. We eat corn, we eat burgers, we eat brats. We sit at tables outside, if the weather is lucky, or in screened-off porches if it is not. We sit with Gran and Pa and Mom and Dad, if they’re around or if we are they; we sit with children, ours or someone else’s. We eat together.

We eat in the late morning because it is a day off, or in the early afternoon because it’s a picnic, or we eat before the night yawns close because that’s the best time to savor the day’s labor spared or spent.

We do much the same on the third Thursday in November when we gives thanks for the red, white and blue. But nowadays manuals help manage family shoals should one be more or less red than blue, or the reverse, or neither. 

But July 4 still somehow declares independence from that worry and, so, all worries, it seems, that beset us.

Because all of us, we just get quiet and take a break and sit down and eat. Together.

Worth remembering, that.