Monday, July 25, 2011


If the pioneers were to visit our day, I wouldn't be surprised is they mistook our loud and explosive Pioneer Day celebrations for loud and explosive declarations of war in their honor. Especially now that aerial fireworks are legal and have turned the whole of Utah into pyromaniacs.

Not that I'm complaining or anything. The bangs and sparkles of last night pulled me away from my movie watching and cross-stitching on the couch to my July-roasted balcony where I had a good view of multiple firework shows. Soon after I stepped outside, the sprinklers started up, which did what the night sky couldn't--cool down the air.

(I may as well join the "I don't know how the pioneers survived that" club: I don't know how they survived without air conditioning. I'm pretty sure it didn't make their trials any easier.)

As the sky lit up with multicolored fire and smoke drifted lazily in the feeble breeze, I kept thinking how glad I was that we have so many reasons to celebrate: holidays that warrant time off work, anniversaries (even the ones that celebrate the first time you ate at a certain restaurant with a certain someone), rites of passage, changing seasons, sports, accomplishments and promotions, survival of another school year, paying off a car, birthdays, weddings, pointless holidays like Halloween and Valentine's Day. Some celebrations call for loud explosions, some need only a dark, peaceful night, and others require lots of people and cake.

Years ago, Tiffany said something in fast and testimony meeting that always stuck with me: life is a gift. Even though we've been promised something immeasurably better in the next life, the one we've got holds innumerable blessings. Every time I see a row of tulips or smell the air after a rainstorm, I can't help but feel extremely lucky to be here; this life was meant to test us, but it was also meant to bring us joy. God could have sent us down here to suffer endlessly, but he equipped us with far more blessings than we could ever count.

Sometimes, though, it is hard to celebrate life, because sometimes life just sucks. Sometimes life because a vortex of time, passing us by while we struggle to find our place in it. And while I think it's unnatural to be happy all of the time, it's a bit of a waste of a pretty awesome gift if we don't take the time every now and then to smell the roses or spend a fortune on something that you're just going to blow up later. We only get to live this life once, and this life has so much to offer.

It sounds like Communal Firework Show round 2 is starting. I wonder how long this one will go on.

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