Last weekend was the first time that I had ever watched the fireworks show in Island Pond instead of being part of those who get to set up and light them off. I always loved the day where we spent the entire moment from sunup to well past sundown preparing for a pyrotechnic show.
Nothing beat the moment where we donned our fire gear and began handling the explosives.
Then came the moment when we lit the flares in preparation to light the fuses one by one and dazzle thousands of people all around the lake. The smell of sulfur filling the air in anticipation of touching the first fuse is still strong in my memory and fills me with excitement.
However, this year was not like the years past...
The fire department no longer puts on the fireworks show, and what's more is that Shawn and I are no longer members of the fire department since we moved. Politics changed who and how things are done. Now a company is paid to do the show so this year Shawn and myself became like everyone else and searched out a great spot to be a spectator for the first time.
We selected our spot a full two hours before the show. As the last light of the night faded we waited with anticipation for the first salute to go off, a small firework that goes off with a bang and indicates the start of the real show is near.
From across the lake we could see the flares light up when the show was about to began. It was at that point I ached to be where they were, where the boom from the fireworks resonated in your bowels and you feared the number of auditory cells you'd lose. Where the ka-thunk of a firework just lit blowing out of a tube skyward made you want to cover your face 'just in case' something went awry and it exploded before reaching the desired elevation. Your heart pounding the entire time.
Then, the best part, was the cheering of the crowd at the end of the show when the last fireworks faded from the sky and the show was over. A crescendo of adrenaline rewarded by the sound of celebration from thousands of friends and strangers alike.
God I miss it, and the sad part is I will probably never get to do a fireworks show again. At least I can say I have done that even if it was once upon a time...
And even though we were spectators its still a great show, near or far from the tubes!