By JoAnn Mullen

See how they prance, those graceful, sequined flag-spinners! Look! Here come the spangled drummers and bugle corps—tubas as gold as sunken suns and music to our ears. Our eyes widen at the sight of all the shiny instruments, bright, jauntily carried as their brassy music swells.

Manicured horses catch our eye in a fraction-of-a-second-glance awaiting their next command.

We catch ourselves laughing in pure surprise when the clowns drive up on mini-cycles with bouncing red noses and carrying multi-colored pinwheels. They pull bright scarves like smiles from their pockets while their laughter turns us supple with pure joy.

Floats of every size and color whiz by, sparkling and shining as bright as spent happiness. With the beat of the music we catch the spirit of the performers. One can almost hear the cracks in the ice of our calcified habits. While watching a parade we are living with our hearts wide open—its door banging on the hinges.

Happy Fourth of July!