Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Independence Day

Here on Chincoteague, the Firemen's Carnival ushers in a month of activity leading up to the annual wild pony swim and auction at the end of the month. We went last night to see the fireworks, a brief but brilliant display that seemed to have ended but then — when everyone had their heads down walking away — surprised us with another burst of color and light.

As I sit on the motel balcony this morning, the parking lot is a scene of mass exodus. Beach chairs and umbrellas go into the trunks of cars, bicycles are lashed to the backs. I'm packed and ready to leave for my new place, one that's closer to the beach. The rest of the family just left for home; I'll stay for a few days on my own.

I check the girls' room to be sure they haven't left anything. All I see is a cicada exoskeleton they found and set on top of the TV. I brought it outside with me. It's cute, in a fierce little way. I'm staring at it now, willing myself not to be sad. It's strange to be staying behind. Strange but good. It may be July 5, but today is my Independence Day.

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