My son and I are sitting in the car after returning from an errand and are about to go inside for the evening. Around us, kids are out exhausting the last bits of late summer energy as twilight falls quickly.
Unlike most adults out of sync with the tempo and feel of nature–their senses dulled by too much immersion in the “world” and an overwhelming preoccupation with appearing adult– children seem to instinctively know that the seasons are changing and the foot soldiers of shorter days are quickly marching in, without use of calendars, clocks or weathermen.
Running amok–mad with laughter–they are seemingly possessed with a brand of insanity that Dylan Thomas would appreciate. Though more than half a century removed from their elder statesmen, they too “rage against the dying of the light”.
This boy and girl who always ride bikes together, aged about first grade or so, are riding around near my car–he with a plastic, red lightsaber in one hand. They stop as four African American girls walk by laughing, talking and gesturing–coloring in the large spaces around them–as we so famously do when we enjoy who we are around.
Just then, the little African American girl on her bike says:
Those black girls are crazy!
In that instant, the little Caucasian boy stops riding his bike, looks at his friend and says, while punctuating each word with a slight movement of his lightsaber:
Hey. Black people are not crazy.
At that moment they are called inside for the evening, promising each other loudly with words wrapped securely in childhood anticipation, that they would most definitely play together again tomorrow.