A few reflections on July 4th, which turned out to be a lovely day where we were fortunate to safely celebrate and reconnect with friends and neighbors. We watched the local bike parade and chatted with good friends at the pool, my two older kids lounging with us at their first real "adult swim." In the afternoon, we received terrible news via our phone notifications - information about the violence at a parade outside of Chicago. If I had a flag flying, I would have put it at half mast, but I could not even summon the energy to hang the United States flag this year, though it is my country - our country, too - and I won't give it away. I found this quote motivational, though I couldn't act on it:
It should not be so unbearably hard for justice to prevail, and justice finally gained should never again be at risk. But this is the country we live in. The fight for freedom will never be over. And, God help me, I will not be one who gives up. This is my country, too, and I will not surrender it to a vocal minority of undemocratic tyrants.
I failed to fly the flag despite Renkl's empowering words, but I will return to them as a rallying cry when I abandon the distraction of pessimism and double down on my own efforts, however small they may be. But it will be a minute. When William asked me pensively what I thought was "truly American," I pled the fifth, not wanting to give him any top-of-mind answers that accrued over the last difficult weeks.