Red, White, and Blue-tiful

Dear Reader,

Happy 4th of July!

How are you celebrating the holiday given the pandemic? While it is natural to feel a little bummed that, yet another holiday is virtually ‘cancelled’ on account of the ongoing crisis, truly believing in this notion will guarantee unhappiness for you on this perfectly joyful day.

We can, of course, still celebrate Independence Day, and should if the simple act will bring a bit more brightness into our lives. For me, a holiday is a welcome diversion and good excuse to dress up, bake more, and abandon all work for the weekend.

In the words of Gertrude Stein, “one must dare to be happy,” and dare I do! So today, I will celebrate the holiday as grandly as I can in the friendly confines of my home and in the openness of the community around me.

Successfully celebrating the 4th of July in these conditions begins with one’s attitude. In an effort to get myself into the holiday spirit, I pushed myself out of bed early and took a walk around the neighbor. In a parting from my normal routine, I wandered more through nature and brought my camera to help me appreciate the little things, like colorful berries hanging from the trees and a family of ducks feeding in the early morning. Stopping to snap pictures every several meters was an exercise in relishing the moment by slowing down and taking time to pause and enjoy the view.

In the middle of the day, I pursued some of my personal projects and then decided to get into the holiday spirit by dawning my Americana attire. In anticipation of this day, a few weeks back I found a wonderful, mid-thigh length, patriotic, sleeveless dress that looks like an American flag online and did not hesitate to add this festive piece to my wardrobe. Honestly, just prancing along on my routine in this colorful garb was an awesome reminder that today is worth celebrating.

In the afternoon, to really ramp up the revelry, I began to cook and bake for a lovely, low-key evening in with my boyfriend. In an ode to American cuisine I cooked burgers and hot dogs (both vegan) and prepared a tossed salad with sides including corn on the cob. For dessert I attempted this tricolor giant sugar cookie with fruits and icing to mimic the spirit of the star-spangled banner. It came out better than expected and the fun of baking it makes it more valuable to me than any store-bought confection.

In the words of Deepak Chopra, “what keeps life fascinating is the constant creativity of the soul.” I believe this and truly try to take these wise words to heart especially when there is something worth celebrating.

I wish you a very red, white, and blue-tiful 4th of July, Dear Reader, filled with clear weather, festive attire, nice food, good company, and maybe even fireworks (even if only streamed online).

Love,

Raven

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