The 4th of July in barn-land (meaning the small city where my barn resides) is always something quite intense. The most popular “holiday” by far for the area. The biggest tourist season. The little city gets very busy during that time.
It falls at the start of the monsoons. The sky is always on fire with electricity around that time. Riddled with lightning. The heat that had been building pressure finally lets loose and releases. Summer rain, cooling temperatures, magical evenings. The feeling somehow that something more should be happening.
The neighbors, no matter where you live, suddenly come alive with the sound of laughter. People over, visitors, family gatherings on the porch, barbecues. The rain finally touches down on the dry land and fire pits light up.
The normally quiet city, it stays up all night. The country bars enlivened with tourists and fun. Everyone reliving their youth. You can’t even get a hotel room here at this time of year.They are all booked.
And yet, life goes on.
I walked outside the evening of the 3rd, close to midnight because I couldn’t sleep. And, I was not disappointed. Found all of the above. The signs that the 4th of July weekend was here and in full swing.
In the time of summer parties, rodeo-ing galore, 4H fever, all the tourists buying up the cowboy hats and businesses booming – especially when you are in the “barn” business- I, somehow still, always find myself in a state of lonely-I honestly don’t know why. Perhaps like many do at Christmas/holiday time. I’m just not quite sure why that is. I found myself in a state of melancholy and …growth. A time for change. The time of the 4th always reminds me of childhood, of teen years, of longing, desire and expectation. Of insecurities. Of a time, in youth, when the world was laid open to all possibilities.
That same day, earlier, had found me alone in the barn, with the horses and a beer. Watching the clouds roll in and waiting for that monsoon wind to hit. When it did, I began my barn chores since the heat had subsided. Fed all the animals and covered all the hay with a tarp in the monsoon silence. The barn was quieted, softened from the sweltering and passion of the last couple of weeks. My daughter gone for the evening at a friend’s home . Visiting company here, now away on a day trip. Demands at bay.
I simply remembered gratitude. Gratitude. Gratitude. This is so beautiful. If all else falls away, there is simply this. A quiet barn, a storm brewing, a cool breeze so needed, a cold beer…and barn chores. Somehow it all felt okay. Life went on, and the 4th passed on a wave of quiet for me.