Happy Fourth via the 12th

Slightly belated…

Happy Independence Day!

Independence Day lights at Waterfront Park, PDX

For the 4th of July some friends and I met up for a picnic and lots of interesting people watching at Portland’s Waterfront Park before the fireworks. It was the last day of the Portland blues festival, so the park was already packed when I got there at 8 with people in lawn chairs and on picnic blankets. For the fireworks later on, even the Burnside bridge was lined with people watching sparks fly. The crowd expanded exponentially by the hour until children’s glowing light sabres threatened decapitation throughout the crowd and then spontaneous explosions started shooting sparks into the dimming periwinkle sky. Just a little after the streetlights blinked on, the big show started.   The fireworks seemed to go on forever, but we made the show last a little bit longer with some sparkler fun afterword.

On the theme of independence, in yoga class earlier that day the instructor urged us to think about “freedom.” The idea of freedom in the 4th of July sense normally seems quite different from it’s yogic context, but I loved the idea of connecting the two, of exploring all the different connotations of freedom. It made me wonder: how do different types of freedom appear in our lives? Our freedom as American citizens, based in the Constitution; freedom as independent individuals, with our own distinct personalities; freedom of thought, action, expression. And, more importantly, how can we become more aware of this freedom to really benefit from it.

Be free. Love, 

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