I remember being a little girl dazzled by fireworks. Aerial bursts of all color, cheering the dark sky, clap after clap. They were bold, they were loud, and they were infinitely exciting. These days, Independence Day usually slips me by with an appreciated day off of work, and if it happens by chance, a fireworks sighting somewhere in the distance.
This year, we loaded the car and headed about an hour northeast of Asheville to visit a family friend at Penland School of Crafts, where they really know how to celebrate the 4th of July. It's the kind of place where all ages commune, craft knowledge runs generations deep, and you feel inspired just by being there.
We camped out for the weekend in our friend's backyard with a few other families and many winking fireflies (some of which eventually found their way into mason jars as country night lights, much to the delight of T's 5-year-old niece).
This year at Penland, I got to appreciate fireworks again through the eyes of some inspired little ones. So many innocent "oohs," "aahs," and "wows". So many squeals of delight and clapping hands; so much excited laughter from faces upturned in awe. I was glad for the reminder of finding simple pleasures and fresh perspective. Children have such a gift for loving the world, and as we grow up, doesn't that become harder and harder to hang on to?