This July 4th morning finds me on the screen porch of summer without a breeze but certainly with fair skies. The bread is on the rise, finally the dog is stilled, the tea made, and thus exists a found moment to reflect on the gift of the “day off” so many of us enjoy. I hope those who are on duty or at work might find some respite along the day’s trail.
July 3 is usually full of miscellany at my house, yesterday being no exception. I confess to doing some of the usual workweek chores, but there was time for spot beautification, namely, grabbing a couple of flowers for the shelf above the sink, or sifting through piles of papers . But onto the Fourth.
Although we don’t usually watch many fireworks, I try to find a few moments for July 4 observances. Today we arranged a new spot for the flag, and I read the Declaration of Independence which, my husband says, is printed on every July 4th in the Globe. There’s also a neighborhood BBQ to attend for lunch. But best of all was a surprise bird sighting out back, noticed first by the cat: two turkeys with young, strolled past the corner of the back shed. We enjoyed watching their sentinel heads pop up from the long meadow grass next door while they attended their brood. Two females, it seems, out for their morning constitutional.
This provided a natural moment to hail the lowly turkey, who some readers will know seemed to be the preferred national bird by Benjamin Franklin. I had to Google the particulars, I confess, but Wikipedia exists for such reasons. Franklin’s words are worth quoting in full:
I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For in Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America… He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.[i]
It’s time to move on from talk of turkeys and enjoy the rest of this holiday. All too soon it will be back to work, and I don’t even want to think that this false mid-point of summer marks the backside of this wonderful season.