Friday, July 04, 2008


The lavish setting: a 500 square foot private roof deck overlooking the Charles River. Below us, Storrow Drive. Beyond that, the Esplanade flooded with people. Beyond that, the enormous fireworks barge, the City of Cambridge, and the vast, open sky.

It is a gourmet affair. The food is exquisite, the company (I am told) "important", and the wine delicious.

When the fireworks finally start popping overhead they are so close, the ones with trickling glittery tendrils seem to spill all the way over to where we stand, ready to rain bits of fire on our heads. The "Grande Finale" is so grand, it completely obscures the sky with smoke. It's just noise and black clouds, really, with a hint of pink or green poking through between the edges.

A gorgeous, glorious event, but there's something missing: the smell of grass. Growing up we watched fireworks from a blanket in a park in New Jersey, or the middle of Keye's Field in Milford, or some indeterminate pasture in Southern Vermont. I'd dig my hands into the grass beside the blanket, pull up tiny strands and twist them into knots.

I'm not exactly sure how I got here tonight, to this urbane place. It's exquisite and I feel lucky to visit. I also feel nostalgic for grass.

Photo from, Globe Staff Photo/Yoon S. Byun

No comments: