Treason day indeed… Now don’t get me wrong. I love apple pie and freedom just as much as the next guy. But truth be told, I often do feel like a treasonous American. All my life I have been an Anglophile and felt a bit out of place here in my home country. I blame it on Shakespeare. Or more specifically, Franco Zeffirelli. I saw his Romeo and Juliet movie when I was a little girl. I then became obsessed with England, Shakespeare, and all things Elizabethan.
I also blame it on Lewis Carroll, his tales of Alice, powerful queens, rabbit holes and mad tea parties.
Oh yeah, and I really blame it on the Rolling Stones! Once they hit town I was completely hooked, sold, crossed over. A total traitor to the New World 🙂
When I was 17 I got my chance to go to the UK for the first time. It was my senior class trip, a memory I still hold dearly. First time to see Stonehenge, the Tower and those stoic soldiers who never blink an eye. First time to ride the Tube and hang out in pubs with scruffy backpackers from all over Europe. Since then, whenever I could scrape together enough money, I’d hop a plane and head back to England. I still love everything about the place — the gardens, the dense lavender meadows, the cobblestone streets. And especially the pretty cottages where I’d love to live one day.
I have been fortunate enough to visit the stomping grounds of all my heroes. Oxford, Canterbury, Stratford, Liverpool, Abbey Road. Over the years friends have gravitated to me who were just as Anglophilian as myself. We have theories that all of us have lived past lives in England, which I am certain is true.
This always made me feel a bit guilty. American by birth but British in my heart. Since the Revolution, other wars (specifically WWI and II) have brought England and the U.S. together, inextricably bound against our common enemies.
As I sit typing this my neighbors shoot off an endless barrage of homemade fireworks. (It is illegal here, yeah.) My cat cowers in the bathtub, his poor ears shattered. I once knew this guy who made homemade fireworks every Fourth of July. Roman candles, bottle rockets and sparklers that exploded like land mines. One year he actually blew off his own testicle. (True story, I swear!)
I have an English friend who tells me that even if his country had the liberal gun laws that America has, they would not be shooting them as often. “Why not?” I ask. “Because we are a polite society,” he says.
Now I hear that England has left the EU. We shall see where this decision will lead them, but one thing is for sure: they are marching to the beat of a different drum, just like their sons and daughters of the American Colonies. Maybe we are not so different after all. As for me, I will always embrace America, the land of my birth. But I will also embrace England, the land of my heart, hopes, imagination and lavender dreams 🙂
Hope everyone had a safe, sane and fantastic Fourth!