Gentle Readers, I am spending July 4th with my family. We will picnic, eating a variety of collations, both hot and cold, and enjoying time with our extended family, including mothers, fathers, children, nieces and nephews, grandparents and great grandchildren.
Because I am a Jane Austen aficionado, I am reminded of Emma’s picnic on Box Hill, which couldn’t be further from the closeness that my family will feel on the day we celebrate America’s birth.
The wretchedness of a scheme to Box Hill was in Emma’s thoughts all the evening. How it might be considered by the rest of the party, she could not tell. They, in their different homes, and their different ways, might be looking back on it with pleasure; but in her view it was a morning more completely misspent, more totally bare of rational satisfaction at the time, and more to be abhorred in recollection, than any she had ever passed. – Emma, Jane Austen, Chapter 44
No one was quite satisfied with Emma’s planned outing, least of all Miss Bates, Mr. Knightley, and Emma. The Eltons wandered off bored and disappointed, and Miss Fairfax keenly felt the insults that Emma and Frank Churchill hurled her way.
Yet Box Hill was a beautiful location, with a view that wouldn’t quit. It is still a tourist destination, and a place that offers peace and quiet to those who would enjoy its beauty. Unlike Emma, I am prepared to enjoy my picnic with my family. Happy July 4th, all!