It is fun to witness a community’s celebration as a guest. Everything is still in the discovery phase. History reveals an amazing story and awareness of the sacrifices that gave birth to a tangible and inspiring community 52 years in. As the day ended, the windows rattled and the fireworks began. The celebration was long, loud, and bright. I stood on the balcony and witnessed it through my eyes, the smells from the explosive haze, and the feelings of the sonic booms against my skin. When it went quiet, it was an awe-filling silence that came with my whispers for today.
Even in the haze, the celebration continues. For the first minute or so, the rockets and starbursts were clear. With time, the smoke from the firework shells began to create a haze, obscuring the view yet creating an invitation to step into the event with all of one’s senses. My days can be hazy even as life invites me to jump in with everything I have.
With bridges closed, the traffic backed up, many with nothing to see except the tall buildings on either side. They were so close! As much as they could hear it, there was no way to have the full experience. I heard an old writer’s wish from a very different perspective; “when I’m among my Israelite kin, the so-called insiders, hoping they’ll realize what they’re missing and want to get in on what God is doing.” (Romans 11.14)
Life goes on, even when it is time to celebrate. I could see people going in and out of the mall, cars leaving on the expressway, and the occasional person out for a night walk. Each day will have its seasons. The invitation to engage, in laughter and tears, reflection and action, is always here.
In the silence that followed, I found myself in the darkness of the night. It was a time of reflection that came with an invitation that lingers still. Today is my opportunity to be a part of a greater story. It’s the chapter for the next celebration.