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Contemplate, Commemorate, Celebrate

by Jenyth Jo

It’s been a year.
It’s been a year of persistence
within our city limits -
It’s time to burst our bubbles, parade our pods,
gather to expand the grand notion &
celebrate a San Ramon tradition:
4th of July in Central Park.

But first, let’s contemplate:
What kind of courage did we need to get here?

We saw quiet acts of heroism when battling the unseen
frontline responders met our sudden need
We know San Ramon sew-ers gifted piles of PPE
our essential citizens kept quarantine
we learned the value of senior volunteer hours
kept an eye on our friends through Facetime
What kind of courage to reach out to strangers &
neighbors we met not a moment too soon?

We repurposed parking lots for vaccine drive-thrus
stacked masks on our cars’ turn signal levers
crammed our computers into closets,
conquered work from home, turned yards into gardens
taught our children and their friends outside the classroom
ate in circus-tented outdoor dining rooms.
Everything slooooowed down, so we gained weight and waited.

Let’s commemorate the wait…            Meh.

One day this May we were rewarded with wonder:
San Ramon bloomed - wedding dress white roses
adorned Bollinger Canyon – clusters of red and coral
carpet roses merged by freeway onramps.
Scooter riders switched to bikes
training wheels removed, and we’re off!
Pedal power south down Iron Horse trail.
Walk strollers north, under the summit of Mt. Diablo -
our movements reveal beauty, illustrate our hope.

Let’s celebrate our growth

As we restart our city, stretch our arms
like our boulevards that grow east and west
and say the new phrase, “I’m huggable!”
Fall into the embrace of family and friends,
welcome to our new sense of community
the same as 245 years ago
when we declared ourselves.

Let’s celebrate this gathering in Central Park,
after a year without live music, theatre, the arts.
We deserve to dance and sing and party
share the celebrations with a circle larger
ready to continue the community we’ve grown
here – close to home – in San Ramon.

July 4, 2021