First the haiku, then the backstory.
bright lights pop and fly
sparkly designs light the sky
memories float by
In Edinburgh for business this week, my colleagues and I were delighted to learn that fireworks were on the Monday night menu for the closing ceremony of the Edinburgh International Festival. This month-long celebration has been a thing since 1948.
After dinner in a traditional Scottish restaurant, we stood in the street and watched the fireworks, awestruck. For me, many memories floated by as I stood transfixed. Memories of fireworks and family in times past:
- A cousin’s birthday party on the beach, when July 4th parent-sponsored fireworks started a brush fire, and all the able-bodied men in a 20-mile radius showed up, the eager, macho and beer-fueled volunteer fire departments of three tiny unincorporated towns. It was all rather exciting to us kids, and anticlimactic for the adults. It was blamed on a teenaged girl who pointed a bottle rocket the wrong way, but I had my doubts even then. Girls usually weren’t allowed anywhere near the bottle rockets…I’m just sayin’.
- About 25 years later, another July 4th, this time with my 8 year-old son, just the two of us in our pajamas in the car, having decided at the last minute to catch the city’s show. We parked on the side of the road and watched from the car windows, singing The Rainbow Connection (from the Muppet Movie), changing to words to include family members and pets. Good times.
- New Year’s Eve of 2014, in Breckenridge, Colorado, in a brutally cold -19F / -28C. There was a parade of skiers with red torches on their poles down the mountain in the early evening, and then fireworks later. Yes, I said -19 degrees – you can see it there on the car thermometer! It was bitter-bitter-bitterly cold, but also breathtaking and spectacular. And memorable.
Back to the present, last night in Edinburgh. The fireworks were launched just behind Edinburgh Castle, on the far side from our hotel. Here’s the view of the castle from the hotel, in the daylight.
When we thought the fireworks were over, we said our good nights and retired to our rooms, but lo and behold, the booms and sparkles started up again. I was lucky to catch the rest of it from my window.
Business trip serendipity. Memories. Good times. Edinburgh rocks.
Do you have fireworks-fueled memories?
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