My knees grew scratched and bleeding, scrambling onto a dock from bioluminescent seas.
One day I woke up on a couch and realized that it was the fourth of July. Sunlight filtered through the window; the house lay still. Outside I could hear the morning world coming to life, birdsong echoing throughout the forest canopy like a blanket of sound weighing heavier and heavier upon the land. I thought, six weeks ago I did not know this house, this house where time stands still and the clock on the wall never changes from half-past three. Six weeks ago, every aspect of my life was planned. Now it does not matter where I sleep.
I slipped into the backyard, morning grass warm and dewy, sparkling in the light. A thick algae had begun to paint the surface of the bog so that it no longer reflected the trees above it, but continued their lush greenery within the water itself. I sat on a swing and let gravity pull me slowly back and forth in the warm morning air that promised a sweltering afternoon. Rays of light burst through the heights of pine trees and I thought for a little while about America. Gentle kitchen sounds emanated from the house; the smell of cinnamon and coffee wafted across the lawn. There was a feeling of never having thought about it before.
I thought about how beautiful it is to awake each day to effortless joy. To run around in the same clothes you’ve been wearing for days with lakewater drying in your hair and leaping into the sea at every opportunity. To spend all day laughing with creative, talented, kindhearted people; to lay in the grass for long stretches of time; to live by the ocean; to sing along so passionately to music in the car, with wind blowing in your hair, that you narrowly avoid an accident, and spend the night laughing until tears run from your eyes. To look forward to going to work every single day. To fill each day with so much living and so much appreciation that each day overflows a little with vivacity and magic.
Inside the house, someone turned on Bob Dylan and music poured into the yard. The clock struck seven in the morning and the day began. For the first time that night, I would have a glimpse of a normal American Fourth of July. I would sit with my feet in the ocean listening to the awe and exclamations of the people around me, watching fireworks exploding over a harbor of silhouetted sailboats, thinking there’s still magic left in it, after all.