Image by The Tattered Coat via Flickr
Not being the most social person I often find myself enjoying this time in pleasant solitude, yet I still receive the calming serenity of this provincial practice. The feeling is hard to explain, but it leaves me with a sense of consistency. I know it probably makes no sense what so ever, but there is that comfort afforded to us with convention. I don’t mind the solitude in the least bit. I prefer to think and ruminate in privacy, yet it is agreeable to acknowledge I’m surrounded by others.
I enjoy watching the kids, with their freedom and innocence of youth, frolic unhindered by worry. It takes me back to those times, seemingly so long ago, when my brother and I unbound our enthusiastic imagination. At times I feel sorry for that little community, the rambunctiousness of young boys can be trying. Our escapades are legendary I’m sure, at least in my own mind. I fondly remember darkening evenings on Main Street in Alma, when we would race our wagons down the hill. It’s important to keep in mind that the hill was quite long, not as steep as it could be, but steep enough. Of course our wagons were not your average little red wagons. We modified them, adding four by four blocks between the axle mounts and the body. This effectively raised our wagons, giving us the impression of riding a jacked up 4 X 4, and of course making the wagons extremely unstable at higher speeds.
Now the proper way to race the wagons is to sit in them, and hold the handle straight up in front of you for the purpose of steering. We would have a couple of friends give us a good starting push to get the speed up faster. Try to picture in your mind, pre-teen boys sitting in those modified red flyers, speeding down Main Street, which by the way was also the state highway, reaching frightening speeds. At the higher velocity, it becomes very difficult to steer because that little handle starts shaking pretty bad. It doesn’t take long before the wagons tip and roll, sending us tumbling along the highway, giggling and laughing. I don’t think any of us ever made it all the way down the hill.
The memories of those times are amazingly soothing and refreshing. The fact that we survived our numerous escapades with danger, we neither recognized nor acknowledged, bodes well for the future generations. It seem to me in my middle aged mind, the dangers we subjected ourselves to at times, were far greater than many of those these kids tangle with.