E. Winter Tashlin

A Reason To Celebrate [Picture Tells A Story]

Filed By E. Winter Tashlin | July 12, 2014 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: beach, celebrations, fireworks, Maine, Old Orchard Beach, PTAS, tourism, vacation

celebrate_PTAS.jpg

The town where I live has fireworks on the beach every Thursday evening during the summer. It's not the kind of massive spectacle one might see on the 4th of July, but they do a nice enough job. Being a resort town, many folk are only here for a week or so, and the fireworks are often a beginning or end to their stay.

While other people may come here for vacation, it's where I live year round and it's easy to feel a bit resentful towards the vacationers who choose Old Orchard Beach for their summer getaway. Not because they clog the stores, or can't figure out how to navigate the roundabout by the 7-11; after all, without them on our roads and spending money in our shops, this town wouldn't exist.

Rather, it can be challenging to be surrounded by people that are having fun while many of us are busy trying to survive. The situation is not unlike having to deal with a neighbor who blasts their music until 3am on Friday night because they, unlike you, don't work on the weekend.

The last several weeks have found me stuck at my desk juggling the conflicting demands of getting work done at my main job, while also job hunting, and doing photography work to pick up a few extra dollars. My family is doing OK right now, but a looming change in our financial situation, and our thus-far unsuccessful attempts to address it, casts a pretty dark shadow over everything we do.

So I've been a bit... let's say snarky about the fireworks. After all, I found myself thinking, it's just Thursday and that happens every week - not exactly something to be all celebratory over.

But that's bullshit on two levels.

First off, the fact that I'm having a rough time is in no way, shape, or form, a reason that other people shouldn't enjoy themselves and be happy. My neighbors' joy doesn't, and shouldn't, be a factor in my own happiness or lack thereof. And it's certainly not the responsibility of anyone else to spurn a good time because some stranger isn't having one.

Beyond that though, what's to say that Thursday isn't a reason for celebration? Life is full of causes for rejoicing, and surely all but the most miserable among us can find one thing worthy of celebration that has occurred in the week gone by. There are thousands of people who saw last Thursday and won't see the next one. That we do, or perhaps that they won't, is for many worthy in itself of lighting off some aerial pyrotechnics.

I went down to the beach on Thursday night to shoot the fireworks - as much because I hadn't been down to the sea in too long as because I thought I might get a shot or two. Although not all that evident in this photo, the beach was filled with vacationers enjoying the night air, the sea, and the anticipation of a show. Rather than feeling the aloofness so familiar to year round residents of vacation towns though, I found myself getting a bit swept up in the energy of the evening.

Technically speaking, as fireworks shows go, it wasn't half bad. But the whole experience of the summer night, the crowd, the beach, and the show all came together to create a moment that felt somehow magical.

And in that moment, celebrating Thursday, even as a local, made a kind of perfect sense.


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