Sunday, February 7, 2010

February 7: Fireworks

As part of the US National Toboggan Championships held in Camden this weekend, last night there was a fireworks show over Camden Harbor. When told we were going to see them, my niece, who was born on July 5, was confused. "Is tomorrow my birthday?" she asked hopefully, if a bit confused. "Am I going to be four?" We had to explain that these were special fireworks, not like the ones she remembered seeing in Marblehead Harbor this past summer the night before her birthday. Fireworks are fireworks, so even though her birthday wasn't involved, she was still excited.

Bundled in many layers under her little down parka (the bottom layer of which was her shiny blue, pink, and silver-spotted princess dress), Fiona was probably warmer than we adults were. In fact, I offered to carry her on my shoulders just for the added body heat. And perched there amid the small throng gathered at the public landing, she had a perfect view of the display.

Unlike most nights when Camden plans fireworks, last night was perfect (OK, it could have been about 30 degrees warmer, but other than that...) After a striking pink sunset, the night sky was crystal clear, Orion shone bright over Curtis Island--I was able to point out his belt to Fiona--and Mars hovered above the plastic-wrapped windjammers. The walkway at the public landing was lit by pretty ice votives. And the fireworks went on just long enough to make it feel like a worthwhile outing, while not so prolonged that we risked serious frostbite.

When we watched the Fourth of July fireworks this past summer, Fiona was too sensitive to the loud bangs they made to enjoy the spectacle of the light show. Now she was just enough older that she was able to appreciate the bursts of color despite having to cover her ears. Watching fireworks with a kid reminds you how much fun they are. We all "oohed" and "aahed" right along with my niece as we admired the sparkling greens and pinks, the blossoming flowers of sparks and sizzling streamers spread out over the water of the outer harbor. The crowd cheered more than once after a particularly prolonged burst of pyrotechnics, and the grand finale sent us all on our way aglow with the shared fun of small-town pleasures. Now, time to hit the pizza place...

Over the harbor
winter fireworks burst and bloom.
Little girl's face glows.

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