In defense of fireworks
Here’s the unavoidable truth: Fireworks are dangerous. The weeks surrounding the 4th of July are always fraught with explosive peril, including accidental fires, increased danger to pets, and the potential for injuries.Many on social media have recently expressed their disdain for the red, white, and boom that inevitably fill the skies around the holiday weekend, and let’s just say up front, they have a point.
While being courteous is important and using fireworks illegally is absolutely a no-no, there are those of us that still love them.
Humans have an ancient and intense relationship with fire; it was the solace that gave us society and the blaze with which we later made war. Fire remains a vital element that powers our world, but, other than the odd winter night or summer barbecue, we just don’t have direct contact with much anymore.
For me, an annual trip to the fireworks stand was almost a mythical thing; like visiting Diagon Alley or some secret apothecary shop, buying the ingredients that would allow me to enact my fire-magic on the world. My sisters and I would set up an alter to the firework gods, asking them to bless our barbaric offerings with a maximum amount of sparkle and only a few piercingly loud whistling sounds.
Fireworks are a reminder of a time we used to crave a little danger, just a small amount of mostly controllable danger, before our lives and our world became so dangerous and full of fear that we flinch at loud noises. They’re a way to return to a youth where even we knew the stakes were lower while the drama was high; where a kiss could be life changing, a breakup note earth shattering, and writing our names with a sparkler imprinted us onto the universe, even if we got singed.
So for fellow lovers of fireworks, who still feel the thrill of making a little magic out of a spark, be safe, be sane, be courteous, be careful, but don’t be discouraged. Let the scent of smoke linger in your hair and revel in all the pink-green-gold crackling that reminds us of a simpler time.