Did you notice more fireworks in the sky on Canada Day this year?
In my neighbourhood, where I've lived for the past five years, I was shocked at how many people were helping to light up the sky this year. Far more than in previous years, without question.
It's unlikely the reason was that this year people had more money to burn; everything I've read indicates spending in most categories has slowed down as a result of job losses and an uncertain future.
Perhaps it's because this year people were especially appreciative of living in Canada, where the COVID-19 situation isn't as tragic as it's been in other countries.
Perhaps it's because fireworks are fun, and going outside to set them off was simply a welcome change of pace.
But I think it's mostly because this year people needed a way to participate in something as a community, while still maintaining a responsible social distance. And setting off some fireworks in your yard was an easy way to do that.
Not everybody appreciates Canada Day, and not everybody loves fireworks.
But deep down we all crave a sense of community, and those noisy colours in the sky served as a great reminder of that.