here’s what your 4th of july is like when you are a farmer’s daughter.
you get to your cousins’ house, and 35 of your relatives are already there, talking, eating, laughing, hugging. you make the rounds and say hello to everyone, and pick a chair to settle in. you catch up with everyone you can catch up with, and you load a plate with a giant burger, some potato salad, and some watermelon. you move around a little bit to try to chat with as many people as possible, and you listen and you laugh a lot. you watch the new babies swimming in the pool and remember the days when you and your generation were the babies. you watch the boys play horseshoes, you listen to the women talk about hot flashes, you pick at the dessert table. you talk a little louder to the older generation, and you admire someone’s new haircut. you take the chairs out to the front lawn to get ready for the fireworks, and you watch the boys take a giant wheelbarrow full of them across the road to the canal bank. you look out at the fields and the orchards and the mountains and the perfect sky and you realize that you feel good in so much space. you snuggle under blankets with your family, and ooh and aah at the show, and pat your dad on the back for picking the best fireworks out at the store. you hug everyone one more time, and you hop in your car and go home.
and you look up at the huge, open night sky, and see so many stars you can’t count, and you know that it’s about as much as a girl could ever ask for.