Happy Independence Day!
So there I was on Saturday, at Tanglewood, after a lovely day of touring one of the most beautiful sections of New England, having a wonderful dinner with friends, and making a short visit to one of the region's premier yarn shops. I was there to see my fellow Minnesotan, Garrison Keillor, and to attend my first ever live broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion. The evening was a celebration of all things American--American music, American poetry, Meryl Streep.
The show itself was wonderful--funny and sweet and sad at the same time--but the most amazing moments came after the "official" show was over. Garrison returned to the stage and led us--all of us--in a singalong of "America the Beautiful," "Amazing Grace," and other traditional songs. We didn't all know the words, we didn't all sing in tune, but we all sang, more or less together, these songs that all of us have in common. Seeing this amazing array of Americans--from the wealthy ladies in white slacks just starting their summer season in the Berkshires to teens with dyed hair playing Frisbee on the lawn to men sporting ponytails and handmade "Bow Hunter" belts--singing those songs together gave me an odd kind of hope and an undeniable gratitude for this country's energy, diversity, and resilience.
So, happy Independence Day. I plan to spend the day doing two things most Americans couldn't care less about: reading a novel and watching World Cup soccer. All of us in Boston are hoping the weather holds out for tonight's fireworks celebration. Have a wonderful celebration, wherever you are.