The 4th of July will always be sparklers and cookouts, although it has been a long time since you have lit one of those little sticks and watched it light up the night with its crackling light.
Yet you find your mind returning to those sparklers. You loved them more than the big fireworks with their loud wheezing and banging, enough to scare your dogs and make you worry about their sparks catching on the tinder-dry trees--a hazard of celebrating the 4th in the desert. No, the sparklers were safer, yet more whimsical. They conjured stories of magic and secret wishes spelled out in the bright sizzle of their light. As the night grew across the horizon, the stars yet to make an appearance in that dark cloak, you created your own stars.
They were like fairy wands, meant for twirling like you loved to do, spinning round and round on the grass, blinded by their bright sparkle until you collapsed on the ground, you and the sparkler spent--until you lit the next one. These sparklers were you and your sisters dancing in the night, running around the backyard, and thinking up the nonsense you so loved to think up; you were the wild ladies, barefoot and wearing comfy dresses, oblivious to everything but the warm air and the glitter of the sparklers.
Now all you can think about is how much your future niece will love those little fairy wands and the secret wishes she will write in the sky with their magic. You don't light sparklers anymore. But perhaps you should.
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