Local patriotism, ecstatic joy

We spent Independence Day weekend, as we do every year, at a three-day festival in celebration of the Eno River. The festival has been held every year since 1980 to raise money to protect this river, which runs through the city of Durham and was once threatened by damming and pollution but is now bordered by parkland and conserved land for its entire length. There are four stages of music, and people selling crafts, and food, the elements of any summer festival. But it’s more than that, far more, if you pay attention and look at it in the right light: it’s about redefining patriotism.