Today is an important holiday in my culture-of-origin. In the U.K. it’s Guy Fawkes’ Night or, as it’s more commonly known, Bonfire Night. It’s a cross between the 4th of July, Halloween, and Thanksgiving, when we Brits–in order to show our gratitude for our Government not being blown to smithereens by a bunch of 17th century ne’er-do-gooders–light bonfires, set off fireworks, stuff our faces with roast chestnuts, parkin, and bonfire toffee, and then burn effigies of the traitors. It’s all very barbaric, but it was still always my second favorite holiday, after Christmas.
Now that I live 6,000 miles away from my hometown, I miss Bonfire Night. On my list of fondest childhood memories, Bonfire Night ranks pretty near the top. And it makes me sad sometimes (this year, apparently) that I have no one to pass along these memories and traditions to. I’ll never get the chance to tell stories of my favorite Bonfire Nights to my children or make Bonfire Toffee that they’ll remember 30 or 40 years later.
I’m sure part of my melancholy comes from knowing my own childhood is gone, but sharing days like this with my own children is one of the things I’m sad I’ll never get to do.