S. Worthen (owlfish) wrote,
S. Worthen

Fourth of July Vignettes

By early afternoon, the shallows of the Buffalo River were warm to wade in. I should have known better, should have known to have waterproof shoes available for wading on the rocky riverbed, but I wasn't planning ahead. Instead, I stood in the gentle warmth for a few minutes. Canoes paddled by, swimmers floated, divers leaped from the overhanging rocky cliff. For a moment among the length of drive, we were surrounded by beauty, by fresh water, by happy laughter of vacationers playing in the water.

I never spend enough time in the Ozarks, and today we were just passing through. They're called mountains, but don't reach up to the peaks of their greater relatives. Still, the curve and flow and layer of landscape they create are lovely in a very accessible way. The soil is red, iron-rich, the trees tall and handsome. In the past, we've sidetracked to hear music or take photos. This time we drove on through, admiring the view as we went.

A cascade of white fire rose up from the dark green of the trees, a delicate blossom among the darkening blue of sky. Osceola gave us our first bloom of fireworks as we drove north, the setting sun turning the cloud-touched sky a saturated shade of peach. By the time we were nearing Des Moines, more and more explosions traced our route across the verdant rolling hills. In West Des Moines, caught up in traffic headed for a later fireworks display, mist traced the valleys and rivulets, while a flurry of firey color erupted on either side of us. It was as if our arrival was accompanied by a triumphal procession of fire.

My mother waited on dinner for our arrival, a feast of pork tenderloin, broccoli, roasted tomatoes, coleslaw, and a wonderful rhubarb crisp, one of my favorite desserts. Afterwards, we played with sparklers inamongst the fireflies and stars.

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