Monday, July 21, 2008
The subtle, ambient noise of a schoolyard is a simple symphony of tetherball chains hitting rusted poles, breezes rushing through leafy trees, and the swings creeking to and fro. To those of us who have spent our time -- no matter how long ago -- on playgrounds and schoolyards across the country the noise is subconsciously comforting. We know it's there but we absently ignore it and allow ourselves to be lulled back to the feelings of happy days playing with our mates and having secret crushes on 6th-graders way out of our league. But to the new students of life, so new that kindergarten is a place far, far away, the chimes are invasive, noticeable and something to be questioned. And how do you explain that it's just the noise of abandoned fun? The lonely equipment calling out for the missing harmony of children's laughter, screams, and taunts.
You don't. They won't understand; but they will, given their own chance to timidly walk to school on the first day of the first year. Then the meaning of the overture will make perfect sense. Old friends, greeting new friends and another year of growth.