by Riley H. As many know, the Fourth of July is cause for celebration in the States. We just missed it as our day of arrival in France was on our nation’s birthday. While I was sad to miss the fireworks that I watch with my family, I had no idea what was in store for me. The fourteenth of July marks a very special day in France – Bastille Day. Incomparable to our fireworks in my opinion, I was amazed at how long they lasted and how breathtaking they were. In addition, the music correlated perfectly with the timing of the fireworks, something that cannot be easily done. It’s not enough to just say I was impressed. After the fireworks, we arrived at a dance right in the middle of town. For anyone keeping up with my blog posts, I’ve been referencing songs and using song titles to head my posts. It’s safe to say that music is essential for all aspects of life and last night was no exception. Imagine the feeling of a good dance, where good music is playing and you can literally feel the music as the near deafening beats pound through your veins. It was an amazing environment, with many French songs that we would pretend to sing to, and a very enthusiastic rendition of “YMCA” with everyone singing along. Spectacular, that’s the word I can accurately use to describe the evening. Here’s looking to many more fabulous fourteenths in France. In addition to festivities, I’ve been more and more inspired as the days have gone by. Back at home, music consumes my life in the most amazing way possible and while I mentioned how music is important, I want to stress just how important it is. It can change your mood, clear your head, give you purpose. When I’ve had a bad day, I’m inspired to take my sticks to the nearest drum kit. While I haven’t had a chance to play the drums in Aix (yet), I’ve found inspiration in creative writing and song writing. Hopefully I will share it on the blog as the days go on, perhaps a poem? There is so much to write about, and so many amazing things that come with travelling that sometimes it can almost be overwhelming. When I think of my favorite writers, I almost think, “how do they do it?” Well, I’m certainly in a place where I would expect inspiration, and I’ve found it. I can just take my time and enjoy the ride. Along with my own inspiration, I’ve met others who share a love of art with me. I’ve gone out to draw with my new friends only to find that I’ll discover more than the architecture of buildings or the structure of hands. I’ve had amazing, impromptu conversations with such substance, conversations teeming with culture, love, life, and truth. When I return to the residence every day I’m exhausted and can barely reflect on the things that I’ve done each day. But now, when I can write in my journal or my blog, I vividly remember and cherish this experience. In the night, a time of day that has always been kind to me, it’s my time to revel in the joy of love, life, and friendship.