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Retired publishing executive ecstatic with the idea of spending most of his time on the coast of Maine

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Playing on the Shore

Two small boys were playing this morning a couple of hundred feet down the shore. Their voices, if not their words, carried clearly to where I sat on the deck, sweating from the unaccustomed June sun (not to mention the exertion of hauling chunked-up logs from our latest felled-tree up to the stack by the garage), although a particularly excited phrase did come clearly through: "Hey, look at this long black thing." The morning fog was just clearing from the water, rocks crashed against each other in some sort of game, and a female voice, a mother's undoubtedly, had the unmistakeable cadence of warning and protection.

I'm going to assume here that playing outside, using the natural things to hand, has infinite advantages over playing cowboys and Indians, or video games, or anything else having to do with guns. I hope the world can give me that, can give the boys of the world that. I hope the boys know how lucky they are to play in a place like this - the world is their periwinkle, green crab, rockweed, sea gull. I hope they don't make that long black thing into a rifle or a whip, although it's entirely possible, even probable, knowing boys. I hope their mother tells them the difference, and why it's important.

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