It gets harder every year to think of an appropriately cynical way to mark this holiday.
Instead of making a picnic and heading for a grassy knoll with 60,000 others to watch pyrotechnics in a designated locale, Kevin and I headed to the Redwoods for a stroll, where Kevin came up with a potentially brilliant idea I will discuss in a moment. After that, we headed into Santa Cruz, browsed Streetlight, noticed our favorite Thai restaurant in town had disappeared, and went to Capitola to eat dinner at Dharma's. (When I crave a salad, I crave the basic salad from Dharma's with their tahini-lemon dressing that's inexplicably good.)
Kevin's brilliant idea is to rent another place near Santa Cruz in which to spend the weekends. He wants the Redwoods. He was torn between a tiny place or a big place; considering whether or not to move his music equipment; questioning how much time he could realistically spend there. Upon checking rental availability and rates on Craigslist, I think he may be reconsidering, but it's kind of a happy thought, anyway.
The Redwoods are always lovely to visit. There's a certain serenity in the carpet of shamrocks, each on their own planes tilting toward sunlight. While younger trees stand straight and tall, the more ancient creatures and those recently passed display knots and gnarls and the gentle patterns of age as though imbued with the likeness of the divine itself. This visible spirit is awe-inspiring, really.
We never made it to the sand. Several beaches were blocked to traffic and already overrun with eager fireworks spectators, and by the time we parked somewhere in Aptos, I didn't feel like making the trek. I saw the ocean and felt the breeze; that was enough for me. Not so for Kevin, but he's sort of at my mercy as a bitchy girl.
I haven't seen a single firework today, though I've heard dozens. With or without them, these days there's little to stir the rah-rah spirit within me as far as national pride goes.