Happy July 4th!

July 4th — Then and Now

Freedom spread across our new-born nation,
Independence sparked and stirred imagination,
Declarations read aloud,
In cities strong and proud,
Marked by cheers and welcomed celebration.

Today, parades and picnics mark the occasion,
Fireworks fill the sky with colorful elation,
Remembering yesteryear,
For what we fought so dear,
Pride fills our hearts with patriotic jubilation.

July 4th.  The day we celebrate America declaring its independence from Britain in 1776 has many customs familiar to most people.  Fireworks, parades, picnics, and other festivities are just a few that mark the patriotic occasion nowadays.  But what lesser known events transpired long ago that add to this festive national holiday?

  • During the summer of 1776, colonists created mock funerals of King George III, illustrating the end ofBritain’s grip onAmerica.
  • The U.S. Congress declared July 4th a national holiday in 1870.
  • The Declaration of Independence was read aloud in major cities across the colonies, met with cheers and fireworks.
  • Fireworks were originally an invention of ancient China, using a combination of gunpowder stuffed into bamboo sticks, all of which were thrown in to fire.  The explosive elements were later brought over to Italy by explorer Marco Polo where chemicals were added to give the fireworks their color.  They eventually made their way to theNew World(the colonies), when settlers used them to amaze or fend off Native Americans.
  • Celebrations, although modest at first, became more noticeable after the War of 1812.  In Boston, the Boston Pops Orchestra ends each July 4th musical celebration with the 1812 Overture.

These historical references not only provide great patriotic perspective, but add substance to festive activities that people may not be aware of.  This 4th of july, wear your red, white, and blue proudly as you celebrate with family and friends, remembering the journey that our nation took toward its independence.



Dad’s Resumé

by George Davis

Born a baby like me,
but grew into a man.
Became a planter –
sowing life into the Earth,
carefully pruning and
providing the perfect balance
of love and care to ensure
a fruitful harvest.

With no formal instruction,
Dad became the world’s greatest Project Manager –
turning sugar-stained popsicle sticks
into log cabins for a full family of toothpicks.

An engineer –
he turned bunk beds into double decker buses,
that carried us to anywhere in the Universe.
It even came equipped with a custom horn
(that looked just like the pillows we slept on)
that we used to alert the natives when we arrived.

A trained physician –
Dr. Dad had the remedy
for everything!
He cured boredom,
stomach aches,
and runny noses.
Even when we came down with
frequent cases of the I-don’t-wanna-go-to-school’s,
he’d find a way to get us excited.

Believe it or not,
he was even a Captain.
Not just Captain of the Household,
but also the spaceship that we
built out of cardboard.
To this day, I’m still not sure where
he got a spaceship license from –
but, hey, he’s Dad!

He’s a magician,
motivational speaker,
and monster-in-the-closet slayer.




Job(s) well done.



Origami Soul

by Brian MacDougall

Kami… thin, flat, and open,
Full of infinite possibilities.
Soft, artistic hands, wrinkled with wisdom,
Ready to embark on the ancient practice,

Polyhedra past lives from countless directions,
Converge at vertices, wisdom aggregated…
Some from afar, some more recent,
All treasured and unique.

Shapes emerging from folds
Are more than merely decorative,
Honoring the magic of tradition and ancestry,
Lineage too precious to ignore.

If the soul could be seen
Beyond its aura,
Would it not resemble
The art of origami?

Each a different shape
Of noble complexity,
Every one carefully crafted with
Purpose and foresight.

Ever marvel at the symmetry
And scope captured in each crease?
At the same awesome spectacle
Of life’s journey?

An ancient art
practiced to perfection,
Mimicking our sacred paths,
Recorded before time.

April is National Poetry Month. We wanted to celebrate with a poem authored by Brian MacDougall called Origami Soul.  Want to poetically express to your loved ones how much you care but aren’t quite ready to dip your feathered pen into the ink well?  Send a Blue Mountain poetry eCard today to creatively connect with all the special people in your life!