Over the course of my childhood and youth, I found many ways to have fun in the snow. Some of it was easy: snowball fights, forts, snowmen, riding my sled and toboggan down many a-slope! Then there was the time that one of my teachers, I sure wish I could remember her name, taught us a great game that could only be played in a field of freshly fallen snow.
It was time for recess, and our teacher led us out into the playground, but didn’t let us race around. Instead, she told us to line up behind her, single file. The area was pristine and perfect – pure white snow covered everything, and it was deep – it came up to our knees! Of course, given that we were all little kids, looking back now, I guess it wasn’t, honestly, that deep.
Anyway, she marched along, shuffling her feet to make a trench in the snow. We all followed suit, and she swung an arc out to the outermost point of the yard, right by the fence that separated it from the sidewalk. She then hung a soft right turn and slowly, gradually, we formed a large circle. Once she bisected it with a line, and then quartered it.
It was then time for the game to begin. It was really quite simple; it was just a game of tag, but it was more because we had to stick to just the circle and the paths through it. We raced about, tagging each other back and forth, the snow started flying, the trench walls crumbled and the paths got wider. At one point, I was it, and I chanced to see one of my friends off to one side. He was bent over and writing something in the snow. I came up behind him, pushed against his behind and called out “You’re it!”
Out flew his arms and he landed face down in the snow. To be honest, I didn’t see all that, as I immediately turned and raced the other way, after tagging him. You see, it turned out that he’d made quite the impression, literally, in the snow. A few minutes later, when I zipped by the spot again, I got to see the full imprint. I have to say, it was really quite good; I could even recognize his face!
Fortunately, he was a good friend; he wasn’t upset about the face plant. Later, as we were walking home, he laughed about the fact that he was almost finished writing, “Kilroy was Here,” when I tagged him, he was just scribbling the final “e” when he found himself face down in the snow.
Such a fun game, and yet we weren’t able to play it again for a while. As it required a virgin playing field, so to speak, we always had to wait for the perfect weather conditions. Still, it was clearly a fun time. I still remember it to this day.
This is yet another act of a good teacher.
Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.
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