An Outer Banks Evening

If there is such a thing as magic in life it is sitting on the beach on a perfect summerâåÛåªs night and watching our nation celebrate its birthday. It would be difficult to find a better setting to watch 4th of July fireworks than on the sand in Nags Head. The beauty of the Outer Banks is never more apparent than at this time–for 15 or 20 minutes the sky is painted with pinpoints of intense color followed by the boom of exploding skyrockets. The sand where weâåÛåªre sitting is warm and everywhere around us there are families . . . children with glow sticks, dadâåÛåªs setting off occasional bottle rockets and roman candles, laughter and quiet talks that kids and parents have when theyâåÛåªre content.

When the real show begins, the night becomes ablaze in glory–red, white and blue rings of light drift slowly seaward with the breeze. Rockets trail white light as they shoot into the sky to explode in shades of green and blue and copper. Everyone knows the finale is coming yet when it begins there is a collective gasp, a childlike glee at the sheer magnitude of patterns at the end of Nags Head Pier.

There is a certain contentment at the end of it, as though there is a shared experience and an anticipation of next year and the next magic show.