Don’t Rain on My Parade

God Chimes InIt’s an obligation in drought-prone Austin to be grateful when plentiful rain comes along, although it’s a much harder task on weekends and holidays to be sure. My wife and I confronted this conflict while visiting friends in Lakeway, where the afternoon sun turned to thunderheads that chased everyone from the pool. When we headed back to Austin for the fireworks, we vowed that our celebration wasn’t going to be denied again by rain.

That resolve was tested on the walk to Zilker, when sheet lightning and light rain portended an unpleasant spectacle, or perhaps even cancelled fireworks. Droves of ersatz spectators were working their way back down Barton Springs Rd., many of them soon to find themselves hemmed in three deep by the car blockade that had formed in the Zilker parking lots.

The resilient were rewarded with comfortable spacing and unblocked views in the thinned (but still robust) crowd. Light rain continued throughout, but did not deter the symphonic strains floating across the park or the fireworks shooting off on schedule. Thick atmospherics obscured the pyrotechnics, but more than compensated with the occasional lightning accompaniment. Among the heavy skies and lingering smoke, the exploding peonies and crossettes [.pdf] looked less like glittering spectacle and more like the rockets’ red glare of Key’s poetic inspiration; an apt reminder on Independence Day.

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