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Sunday, June 5, 2011

A brush with imagination

IMG_8496Yesterday was a glorious spring day. It was the kind of day that draws people out-of-doors to watch parades and go on picnics. But the minutes wore themselves out—as they do no matter the weather—and the day gave way to a very pleasant evening. Driving to the mall down a quiet, lazy street, I noted that the sky was dusted with the earliest hints of a crimson sunset. Suddenly a little boy caught my eye; he looked to be seven or eight years old, and the reason I noticed him was he had just thrown something toward the place in the road my car would soon be. Though I expected it, there was no impact. My curiosity was now piqued, so I kept watching him. I thought he was watching me as well, but I then realized he was looking right through me, and the scene he was a part of had nothing to do with the one I was passing through. He was in a much more wonderful place, perhaps a baseball diamond or in the midst of a fierce battle because the next thing he did was throw another invisible object through the air of his imagination in a different direction. He watched as it soared and hit its target. He reacted. He was talking—shouting—to unseen companions; he seemed to be having great success.

I cannot know how his struggle ended. My car carried me swiftly past the scene, too quickly to see if anyone made a homerun, too quickly to see the bloody end of an enemy. When I passed by again on my return home the place was empty—no little boy, no empty bases or  ravages of war, just a quiet sidewalk and a dark sky.

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