The hustle & bustle sounds of "1st Recess" just joined the cool not-yet-fall breeze coming through my open windows. The school next door is providing a dose of normalcy even to those in my neighbourhood who may not recognize it as such. For some, it will be absorbed subconsciously.
For me, I hear the peeps and squeals of the playful children's voices in the schoolyard. The same schoolyard my three children once enjoyed recesses in and I am drawn to their resilient joy, wistful release of a partially stolen summer, and unfettered acceptance of "this moment".
Whatever this moment may be.
It will mean different things to different people.
For me, right now, that moment is, simply put, "2020".
While some grown ups are concerned about history being erased through the toppling of pieces of metal from concrete perches, I relax.
I relax because I am, perhaps unexpectedly so, wrapped in the warmth that is this group of voices blending in frenetic disarray from all genders, backgrounds, colours, abilities, faiths and belief structures.
Simply put, a future.
The troubles that raged through the world will, in more ways than one, become their "history". And as those efforts continue, as rightly they should, I am left wanting to share this feeling that washed over me. It's the same feeling that propels that retired lady to do something crazy like sign up for a two month excursion to help build a school in a third world country. The established professional to quit their job and take a teaching gig. The veteran to check in on their former troop mate. The social worker to answer that after hours text. The same feeling that brings healthcare workers every day to cross the threshold of the emergency room door to serve again.
But all I have are words.
Words for the teachers and school staff who've made whatever "that" was supposed to be remarkably strike my ears as "this".
Words for the parents who, as we all must do, continually, released the hand of their most precious package into the currents of time.
Words for the near or newest adults "attending" their first post secondary educational "classes".
Words for the wannabe newlyweds who didn't, couldn't, or perhaps just managed to tie the knot and begin wondering about climbing on this path many like me are on the cusp of vacating.
Words for the rest of us who do our little bits to the little cogs that help turn the little wheels of society. The construction workers who construct. The makers who make. The growers, farmers, and my favourite of all... the vineyard worker.
And just as quickly as they appeared, the schoolyard voices are gone. Back inside to have their little sponges filled with whatever the wisdom of the day may be. It will change. It will be looked upon with 20/20 vision (pun not applicable) when these children hit my age. But it is the best we can do and the people standing in front of them right now are the funnels that pass on our collective voices to make every attempt at lodging our hard learned lessons into their momentarily malleable minds.
It is the best we can do right now, just like our predecessors thought best to do what they did for, or to us. Most of us turned out "okay" and set ourselves immediately on the path of making things more "okay" for our children.
But all I have are words.
One word I will not use is "Hope".
This is not hope. Hope is weak. Hope surrenders most of what "it" already is to chance.
Ants don't stop, stare and "hope" their anthill will be as majestic as the one that just got toppled by the screaming rear wheel of an expertly skidded scooter.
They. Just. Do.
The famous Nike swoosh may look like the skid mark from the scooter but the motto "Just. Do. It." is certainly representative of what will have that anthill rebuilt by sundown.
No. This is not hope.
This is doing.
As the silence returns, broken only by the ravens on my roof taunting squirrels, chipmunks and the neighbourhood Yapper, I get back to what I was doing. Hoping to get more of my "doing" done before the next recess snaps me out of whatever rabbit hole my work sent me.
It may have been delayed by 9 months but the new year is finally here.
Welcome back, 2020. I've missed you.