Last winter I watched a little girl play kickball with her classmates...
and the responsibility for my newlywed's daughter
dissolved into distant memories -
of school playgrounds
The thing about kickball is this
that's just begging to be kicked.
There's no precision to kickball.
No elaborate system of rules to master.
No hard contact...
The pitcher rolls the ball...
in your general direction,
bobbling a bit as it hits a small pebble or two...
till you run to it and kick it with abandon.
It might not travel far, but no matter.
The blob is as likely to bounce off a fielder as be caught,
so you keep running.
As I watched her play,
standing next to me was another pretend Dad
watching his girlfriend's daughter play.
He was a big burly man.
(A silence that reverberated through my timeless shell)
And then, an offcourse kickball
(is there any other kind?)
bounced off me
and I detected a small smile beneath the burly man's beard.
"This looks like fun," was my opening. "I wish I could play."
"Yeah. They should have kickball for adults," he returned.
We introduced ourselves
and for the next few minutes, discussed how we could form an adult kickball league,
what work night would be best,
who else might be interested...
Then the recess bell rang
and our little girls went back to their classroom
and our conversation stopped.
The dream of an adult kickball league died quickly...
almost as quick as my relationship with the little girl and her mom.
Seasons passed in apartment solitude,
asleep in sorrow, dreams without bounce.
In the glimmer of this Sunday morning,
I listened as a women gave voice to her beauty.
As her song's enchantment - lowered my shields,
the light of her long, black silken hair...
flowed in my general direction
until I noticed her tall, confident bearing...
and how intimidated I suddenly felt.
In month's past that would be the end, but for the unexpected.
The music had stopped and the preacher returned
but the tall soprano was caught lingering on stage.
Abruptly, she ran to the bench...
with this smile on her face...
She was a little girl,
running with abandon.
The mask of serious adulthood - shed in an instant
along with my intimidation.
I'm going to go talk to her...
and ask her about kickball.