Even as a child,
I’d leave behind the chaos of the monkey bars at recess
and go lay down in the shaded dark green grass by an abandoned remnant of playground equipment: a lone pole with a chain attached at the top.
And I’d listen to the sound of the chain clanging into the pole in the wind, taking position as “first chair” in the cacophonous orchestra around me.
I loved the tone of it.
And the silence between the notes.
Sometimes I’d lay there until the teacher called us back in to line up.
Her voice was startling but welcome.
Even then, I was puzzled by the lines we were forced to make,
amused by the exaggerated anger and sadness in the faces around me as we filed back into the school,
comforted by the sound of the chain as we entered the familiar hall lined with faux cinderblocks and fluorescent lighting.
There was something more alive in that chain than anything else on the school yard,
the whispers of sages across millennia.
It’s so wonderful to look back at your childhood and see yourself doing the things that make you who you are today.
It’s like having your soul wink back at you.
In all the chaos of being an adult, a dad, a business owner, I still hear the chain.
And the silence.