Tuesday, August 2, 2011


b. watterson

Sophie moved down the street at a sprint - her eyes were closed - she knew this neighborhood like the back of her hand - maybe even better. She could hear the wind, other kids laughing and yelling, birds chirping, leaves rustling in the breeze and the city bus groaning into action after having deposited someone at the street corner. The contrast between the cool spring wind and the soft warm touch of the sun on her face was exhilarating. She ran past the stand of lilac bushes at the end of the block tasting their sweet fragrance.  She took an extra long stride as she turned the corner past the lilacs to avoid the broken patch of sidewalk.  She felt like her heart would burst from the run but she kept on going - past Mr. Smith's yard with the chronic sprinkler,past old Mrs. Murphy's with the "stay off the grass" sign,  past the Conways with the children all too young to leave the yard and too numerous to keep inside on such a day - she could hear them calling to her and she opened her eyes, smiled and waved.  She looked briefly down at her feet and saw the new blue Keds - they really did make her run faster, jump higher, go further. On she went, her pleated, plaid skirt and white blouse flapping around her. One more corner and then the final leg of the run that would end at the Rosewood Elementary School playground.  Sophie loved coming to the playground when school wasn't in session. It seemed like such a daring thing to do and there weren't nearly as many kids vying for a swing.  She got to the swing set and skidded on the pea-gravel under the swings. Situating herself on her favorite swing, she began to pump her rubbery legs to get going as high as she could. In a matter of a minute she felt like she was flying and she leaned back and closed her eyes. The world turned upside down and the broad smile on Sophie's face could have cracked it in two. She stopped working at the swinging and just enjoyed the sensation, the gentle arc she drew in her small corner of the playground - the weightlessness and then the realization that very soon the swing would come to a stop and once again she would be grounded. She held on to the last bit of motion the swing was willing to shell out and then opened her eyes, dismounted and started walking back home - back to siblings, chores, dinner around a table with the people she most wanted to be like and liked by... and her Keds suddenly kicked her into high gear, pounding the pavement as Sophie headed back to real life and all its comforts.


  1. Thanks. We have all been Sophie at that time in her life even if we cannot remember. It all happened before we screwed up and became adults.