Yesterday was the Fourth of July, a day to celebrate freedom. Here, in Asheville, NC, it poured rain for hours, the kind of hard, wide-streamed deluge that soaked the ground in seconds, flooded roads, bent fields of flowers, induced electricity to flicker dangerously close to completely shutting down. I stayed in all day, mostly reading, a little disheartened that I had not been called this week to the writer’s retreat for which I was on a cancellation list.

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