Once in a while a moment will happen that you KNOW will live on forever in your mind. A moment so stunningly remarkable, a moment so unusual, that you will never forget it happened. Such was the moment last night at around 9:45 p.m.
Picture this: a family group shooting off fireworks on a dock over the family pond. Nothing out of the ordinary – it was July 4th after all. We had the kind of fireworks that are mortars. Put a bulb shaped thing with a long fuse in a thick cardboard tube, light the fuse and stand back awaiting the launch while you are waiting to be amazed! Stand back being the key phrase here.
We have done this 100’s of times.
But, tonight was different. Tonight we were to be shown just how mentally close a family is when something goes wrong.
We place the mortar in the tube, light the fuse and stand about 10 feet to await the fireworks magnificence. About ½ way into the wait there was a thud and it was at that precise moment we knew that mortar was definitely NOT going to go flying UP into the sky as planned.
Run? Too late. Then there was the moment I am writing about.
We looked at each other. No one said a word, but at that second I thought I had detected that not only myself, but each one of us knew that we all knew, (or maybe I was reading something into the locked eyes) that something very bad was about to happen and we all just hoped we lived through it.
My son then said the most appropriate words – “Oh, God.”
We all felt the explosion, aimed right toward us. The sparks, cardboard shards and everything else that an explosion could conjure up came right at us. We felt the shrapnel hit our bare legs, arms, and bodies. But NOTHING hurt. The carnage flew right at us, yet we miraculously were unscathed. Perhaps my son's last words actually moved the man in the sky and he spared us. But, we had looked at a fireworks explosion up close and in the face and lived to tell the tale.
After a few seconds and a giant sigh of relief, we all just started laughing. The crazy, OMG, we could have been killed, but were not, laugh of relief.
After the few seconds of laughing, the subject of knowing we were certainly doomed came up. That was when I realized that I wasn’t imagining the mind meld (thank you Mr. Spock) that I thought had happened. We all indeed had realized together at the exact second in time, what was about to happen. We were one mind. I think we were all more amazed at that, than the imminent tragedy we had just lived through.
The moral of the story? Not what you think. Of course we did not stop shooting off fireworks. No life lessons learned here!
We learned that Star Trek and Vulcans are real. Long live fireworks and the Prime Directive.