June 30 – July 6, 2023Vol. 25, No. 3

Freedoms of Summer

One of the fireworks shot over Long Pond during a Belgrade’s Fourth of July celebration.

by Esther J. Perne

The freedom to be a kid, or watch a kid, or watch someone else’s children receive so much excitement and satisfaction from the rewards of the season: a treat, playing on a playground or in the water, trailing along to an event…all these and many more simple gifts of the season are freedom to a young and hopeful child.

The freedom to be outdoors, to know the outside world is loyally out there even when work and life demands take over, to be able to casually and competently take part in the whole great outdoors lifestyle of eating and enrichment and athletics and socializing — in small samples or huge outings. It’s a freedom, that whole outdoors. Kind of makes one want to slam the door extra hard on the way out.

The freedom of pursuing a sport no matter what level, no matter what anyone says or thinks or how old the intention. Take up something new, take up something old, take up something that gorgeous muscular model has invitingly suggested. Or don’t. Freedom includes the “no” word, too.

The freedom of joining a crowd, of enjoying the sidelines, or melting right in — on a hot day…literally. Maine summer crowds are huge on laughing and greeting folks they haven’t seen for a day or two, huge on bringing the whole family and maybe the dog, huge on talking competitively with the event. Basically, these crowds refuse not to have a good time, to be free to have fun no matter what.

Freedom to celebrate: all the world loves a parade, a red hot dog, red and white bunting, blue ice cream, music by the local band and fire trucks. Everyone cheers the little girls pushing doll strollers, the boys on the decorated bikes, the horses who would rather be home, the dignified senior dignitary riding in the convertible, a ride they recognize they might take, too, by gum, until their attention turns to the candies and trinkets and pea pods sailing off floats. Ah, the freedom to be a kid — or act like one.

Here’s to the freedoms of summer!

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