My street friends. Mangos. Two of my favorite things here. So I would like to share an afternoon where those two met up for a great time-at least in my eyes.
I am an introvert. I enjoy the time I have after coming home from school to sit and re-energize. But that time does not last long. Something I enjoy more is playing. Around 4 o’clock I head outside because I can hear small children coming together to play. My street friends. This is the term I use to describe the kids that live around me who have become my friends. We differ in age, me being almost 23, and they range between 4-8, but that does not matter when we play in the streets. As I walk out the door and down my driveway they usually spot me and come running, screaming “ELLE!” I brace myself for the dog pile I receive-they really enjoy jumping on me to greet me. J We play a game that I grew up calling “criss cross apple sauce” with a circular rope that is held apart by two people, wrapped behind their legs, while the others jump in and out, slowly moving the rope higher and higher. I find it funny because I am always a base person and so is the youngest and smallest girl that comes to play. I have to giggle when they have us put it at the same body part, when clearly my knees are at her hips. But, alas, that does not seem to bother or phase any of the other kids.
When that game wears out, we move on to another one. Hide and Seek. Their rules are slightly different then what I grew up playing and the person seeking has to ‘scope’ someone (call their name and say ‘scope’) before the hider runs back to the starting spot. I usually count. They hid all around my house, and this time I had to circle it before finding all of them. When we went running around the side we noticed the mangos on the ground from one of our mango trees. So we paused the game to collect mangos. There were enough good mangos on the ground for each of us to have one (over 6 good mangos). Luckily there is a water spout right there where we all wash the mangos to then bite into.
It was so joyous to be able to share that time with them. I found so much happiness in running barefoot around the house, finding mangos on the ground, washing right then and there and eating them in the company of friends, and then washing sticky hands to return to playing. It all felt natural, I felt close to the earth, I felt in touch with creation, I felt near God. I could see what she had created, yummy mangos, fresh water, tough feet, smiling children, and loving hearts. Things I am so grateful for.