Archive for Thursday, June 19, 2008

Window scene shows summer born anew

June 19, 2008

From my window overlooking the street, I watch them at play, crawling over the truck like Lilliputians over Gulliver. There are three of them - ages somewhere around 11, 7 and 6 or thereabouts - two boys and a girl. She is the oldest.

They are dressed in summer garb of shorts, T-shirts, tennis shoes or crocks. She, who must be obeyed, is trying to corral the two boys, which never works. One boy positions himself on the tool box, stretching out in catlike fashion; the younger redhead, he who will not be contained, hoists himself upon the roof of the cab and sits Buddha fashion.

She sits crossed legged in the bed of the truck, winding and unwinding a rope. She has a definite purpose in mind. She looks upon him who will not be contained as he pitches himself off the roof of the cab down onto the boy stretched out like a cat on the toolbox.

He lands with a thud; both boys roll off the toolbox and land in the truck bed. She is obviously distraught at being interrupted and waves the rope above their heads. Annie Oakley at her best. The boys scatter like yearlings trying to avoid the branding iron about to befall them. One makes his way into the cab and the red head leaps off the side of the truck and runs around to the front, arms flailing like a windmill.

Just as she is about to give chase, all three stop in their tracks, held to the ground like filaments to some gigantic magnet. I know without looking that some adult is about to appear from somewhere; he has already announced an arrival with a booming voice.

And appear he does, with long and purposeful strides, hand sweeping the air, finger gesturing in different directions, and the three scatter like nine pins - the two boys to separate parts of the yard or driveway and the girl to her rope in the back of the truck.

It is a short-lived truce. Within minutes, the boys are cascading through the clover, arms flailing with laughter sluicing through the air. They circle the truck, are up into the bed, onto the toolbox and over the roof of the cab before she can grab them with her rope. They drop to the ground and continue their pursuit of one another; one boy looses his pants.

She sees her chance, bounds off the truck and lands with a boom onto the boy, sitting on him like weight dropped from the sky. For a moment, she who will be obeyed is in charge. He pops out from under her like a gosling out of an eggshell. He runs and she chases with the third youngster hot on her heels.

"A boy's will is the wind's will

And the thoughts of summer are long, long, thoughts."

Summer born anew.


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