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Fourth of July Already?!

Can you believe the first half of the year is gone already? It just flew by. The expectation of an exciting Independence Day fireworks display hangs in the air. Anticipation can be a wonderful thing. It’s as important a part of the event as the experience itself.

My friend David was offered the opportunity to check off an item on his bucket list – a fly-fishing trip to Wyoming and Colorado. He accepted the offer about three weeks before the actual trip was to happen. David’s everyday life immediately went on autopilot. He accomplished all his duties and commitments, but he was thinking almost continually about the trip. He’d tell me about the equipment required by his guide, then later tell me where he bought it, and even when he expected the UPS truck to deliver. One day he was in a shoe store looking at a pair of boots for the trip. He expected to find exactly what he needed, but the right thing just wasn’t jumping out at him. He called a friend who knew about such things, only to find out the friend was holding a pair of the best possible boots - in David’s size - and that they were available at an unbelievably good price.

Here’s another example of expectation. My wife and I have attended a storytelling retreat for several years now where we get training in various facets of the craft, all in a beautiful mountain retreat setting. We decided to go again this year and sent in the reservations. We were busy at the time, and didn’t think too much about it. But when it came time to send in the money – the ultimate commitment – life went on autopilot. The anticipation of meeting old friends and making new ones, the beautiful scenery, the great food, the fact that cell phones don’t work up there, are all woven into great expectations for a great week. These great expectations have teased us for three weeks now!

There are times when expectations of great joy end up producing an experience with unexpected results. They might be frustrating at the time, yet in retrospect become inspirational - or sometimes just laughable. Like the Fourth of July when we took blankets to the park to watch the fireworks explode overhead. Lying on a blanket flat on our backs was a great way to see the display without craning our necks. We enjoyed lots of oooh’s and aah’s, along with the dozens of other folks around us. The surprise came when we got home! Our faces, our clothes, every bit of us were covered with black gritty soot from the fallout of the pieces exploding directly over us.

So, whether you’re planning to go camping, or to the river, or the mountains, or just staying home to have a picnic and check out the local fireworks show, enjoy it all, including the anticipation!

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