After all, it's a tradition.
We always do this on the Fourth of July,
Just as Mom did growing up.
They asked for Mom and Dad to get them out,
To open the packages,
Light the flames.
The tanks were empty,
So Mom went inside to get a candle.
Once the flames were lit, Dad gently moved one of the thin sticks into the fire.
After a few seconds, it sparked to life.
He handed it to one who was eagerly waiting,
Then another was lit and placed into the hands of another young one.
Soon, both were running up and down, back and forth,
Brandishing and waving sparking sparklers.
One held it high, like an Olympic torch.
Another traced letters with the light.
Smoke hung in the air as they ran and giggled and jumped.
All too soon, few were left.
I moved closer to get a few more pictures,
A sliver of moon shone in the still-bright sky,
A piece of perfect creation intersecting with imperfect creation,
The creation of the Creator shining down on the creation of the created.
The last sparklers were lit,
Waved high in the sky
Until they were gone.
Then she saw it, too,
Perched on her hand,
Called me over with my camera,
Asked me to take a picture.
The first one came out dark.
I pressed the button again.
The picture took at the exact moment before it flew,
Wings spread, ready for takeoff:
A tiny bit of the light God provided,
Flying in the air still-smoky from our imperfect light, created by human hands.
The creation of the Creator met the creation of the created.