One of my morning rituals is looking through my Facebook memories. I find it interesting to see what was going on in my life on a specific day. Often it makes me smile, reconnects me with my priorities, and makes my heart feel full.
Today is the 4th of July. Being that I’m American, this means the day is filled with A LOT of fireworks. But looking through the memories this morning I saw something even grander fill one photo after the other – family and friends. And for the first time I realized what this holiday really means to me.
For as long as I can recall the 4th of July has been a fun holiday in my life. There have been fairs, carnivals, and backyard grills. I’ve seen elaborate firework displays that made the night look like day and I’ve enjoyed simple backyard sparklers. I have loved them all with a sense of child-like awe.
As an adult, this holiday has been celebrated in conjunction with my daughter’s birthday as she was born on the 3rd. I still remember watching the fireworks show from my hospital window as I held my newborn. She was my first, the one who changed me into a mom. That 4th was magical for a whole other reason.
As I looked through the photos over the years, watching the faces in the photos grow older, one thing is even more consistent than the fireworks, and that is love. From camping to birthday celebrations I have been surrounded with family and friends to celebrate Life on this day with people who help shape and define me as an individual.
In a time when so much strife and division seems to be surrounding this country, the world, it is sometimes difficult to understand what there is to celebrate, but those precious memories reminded me. It’s not just about the country or the flag, yes, that’s the historical reason, but there’s something so much bigger and more liberating – LOVE.
The love of family, friendship, togetherness, and traditions. That is the foundation we stand on which helps connect us to community and ground us in our priorities and morals. Independence is having the ability to gather with those you cherish to celebrate togetherness. Sing. Laugh. Eat. Dance. Eat cake. And watch in awe as the magic of life explodes before your eyes, shining light into the darkness.
You don’t need to have a national holiday to celebrate love, you just have to make time for it. So whether you’re from the States or the UK or wherever on this great big rock, I hope you can find a day to celebrate love and be with those that you hold dear in order to create a memory that will warm your heart for many years to come.