05 July 20XX
My Dear Lucilius:
July 4th has come and gone, perhaps on the most memorable July 4ths in all my years.
I have long stopped following the major news outlets and so have no actual idea of what the government “line” is this year – but if it is like years past, it is undoubtedly filled with how far we yet have to go and how only through the Government, not the People, can we be great.
This year, things felt different.
No sooner had I finished my missive to you of 02 July than a knock came at my door. It was a young woman, whom I had never before met. She said she lived over on the other side of the main road through town. Someone had decided that we needed a Fourth of July celebration. A local rancher had donated a side of beef. There would be fireworks of some kind. Would I consider coming?
The “yes” was out of my mouth before I had time to think and consider the matter. And so, the afternoon of the 4th, I got into a semi-dressed mode, the kind of which I have not worn for many years on a day not a Sunday, and headed out.
Someone had opened up what had undoubtedly been a bar in a former life, had swept the floors of the dust and washed the windows so the light could come through. Red, white, and blue bunting was hung on the walls with the American Flag.
I would guess by the crowd present that almost everyone in our 110 or so odd town came along with the some of the outlying folks. The beef was as promised and everyone, including myself, brought a side dish (I had forgotten how much I missed potato salad). A trio of a guitar, string bass, and violin played songs, mostly of the patriotic and County and Western variety.
You would be rather proud of me – I conversed with a number of individuals. I met my neighbors down the road. I found another person that kept bees. And mostly against my own better judgment, I had a beer.
The fireworks were for the most party for the children and consisted of those “safe and sane” fireworks which are even now illegal in most places – but were appropriately enjoyed by all none the less. They also had sparklers, and everyone got at least one to wave in the dying light.
This is my country Lucilius: People celebrating their country, the fact they are free and, among other freedoms, have the ability to associate unmolested by the government. There was no discussion of current events or what the future might hold: instead, just citizens celebrating who they are are.
It was glorious.
America may be in trouble, but it seems the American spirit is as alive and well as it ever was.
Your Obedient Servant, Seneca