July 4, last year

With the coronavirus pandemic raging on through summer 2020, official July 4 fireworks events were cancelled to avoid public gatherings. On the evening of July 4, my husband, daughter and I (heavily pregnant with my second-born son) decided to drive around in the car to check out fireworks that people were lighting up on their own. We set off as the horizon darkened and a full moon came up to rule the sky.

My daughter chatted continuously, the words tumbling over each other, rarely-heard exclamations falling fast from her lips. Fireworks began to explode above treetops and the buildings surrounding the freeway. People with masks stood (at least six-feet) apart on flyovers, watching them. My husband, daughter and I joined them as more flashes and booms filled the night sky. My daughter jumped and hooted while my heart did a little dance of its own.

Driving back home, we turned into a street where many fireworks were going off. To our delight, the people who had been lighting them set off a new round. Rockets zoomed upward in rapid succession and burst into a variety of sparkling colors and patterns. The entire display lasted for about two minutes, right above our heads as if it were our own private show.

It was the middle of 2020 and my heart went out to all those who were suffering. At the same time, I was grateful for all the little joys, including our impromptu family outing. We’d left the house to catch a few glimpses of sparkles in the sky here and there, only to be treated to magnificent firework showers right in front of our eyes.

Video of fireworks from July 4, last year:

About Deepti Nalavade Mahule

Originally from India, I reside in California, where I spend time developing software, feeding books to my two children and submitting my short fiction. View samples of my writing on — https://deeptiwriting.wordpress.com/
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