I’ll just say it…. July 4th felt a bit off. A lot of summer days have begun to feel this way lately, as I’m sure many of your daughters will agree. I didn’t get the firsthand glance at our youngest Junior Ones, approaching Janet already dressed in their whites by breakfast in anticipation of raising our flag. I wasn’t privy to the last minute hustle of our Inter I age group as they put together their binder to cover this year’s Tripp Lake Storybook. I missed the water celebrations that would have spontaneously popped up on the schedule because the Fourth somehow ALWAYS seems to be one of the hottest days of the summer. I longed to see our 1AB girls decked out in their red, white, and blue attire while engaging in a delicious outdoor cookout. With all of this fanfare to compare it to, are you surprised when I say this year’s holiday felt a bit off?
I began to think about holidays and celebrations in a greater context. Who doesn’t love an occasion? Who doesn’t enjoy a chance at a bit of cheer? It’s interesting to think about this, as I’m able to rattle off the details and itinerary of every birthday we’ve celebrated, every anniversary we’ve admired, and every virtual graduation we’ve attended since COVID entered our lives. That’s not to say that these things did not matter beforehand. Yet, there is something to engaging in these special moments at this time in our lives that gives me a bit of pause, and allows time for reflection. It may seem obvious that, when it comes down to it, these occasions are less about the ‘celebration’ and far more about the people we surround ourselves with to celebrate. You’ve probably been able to engage with your immediate family in a closer and more impactful way. I’m also sure many of you have been able to place birthday ‘honk’ signs on your front lawn, engage in a Zoom virtual graduation toast, and surround yourself with love from a social distance. These are the silver linings that I hope you are looking towards alongside me.
This is simply because people are what make moments. Our girls know this – it’s why they would have given anything to celebrate Fourth of July together, as well as every other special event this summer. The feeling is mutual. I remember reading an article in early March that reminded me to ‘lean into the good that remains.’ It spoke about how conversations, connections, and relationships are even more valued during this time. We’ve said it before and we will say it again – Tripp Lake has always been more than just a place with a beautiful lake. It’s a living and breathing system built from its people. I hope you were able to find and celebrate those people you surrounded yourselves with during this Fourth of July weekend.