Independence…

Just after dusk, I stand by my garden talking to a friend when all kinds of things begin happening — a luminescent full moon quickly rises; a fox appears at the edge of a nearby woods and watches us; and our kids burn sparklers. In the neighborhoods and hills around us, people set off fireworks. Colored sparkles decorate the horizon.

Like everything else — a completely confusing holiday.

In the night, I wake when a light rain begins to fall, and I get up and take in my sandals I’ve left on the back porch. For a moment, I stand in the darkness, breathing in the scents of damp soil and rain. Maybe for a bit, I wonder, it might be better to understand the world not as a whole, but piece by piece, beginning with the moon and the kids and the teenagers, the sandals I’ve taken in and that I’ll wear today, dry.

Many people find it easy to imagine unseen webs of malevolent conspiracy in the world, and they are not always wrong. But there is also an innocence that conspires to hold humanity together, and it is made of people who can never fully know the good that they have done.

— Tracy Kidder

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Greensboro, Vermont