I can’t help but wonder what they’ll be. As I sit in my home on this residential street in flyover America, the sounds of children laughing and playing reach my ears; and I can’t help but wonder.
On one side of the street, grandparents care for a granddaughter. They sit and watch her from a lawn chair on their driveway, or walk with her up and down the sidewalk. It is the quintessential American dream, raising another generation in the suburbs.
Across the Street
A dream alive across the street, too, where another family of another skin color play on the lawn under the mature trees, passing the fall while they can still enjoy the warmth of the sunlight. And I can’t help but wonder what they will be, too.
Between the houses, walkers of every age are leashed to dogs of near every breed. Up and down the street, kicking the fallen leaves, sharing the wonder of the day, smiling at the innocence of children at play. And I can’t help but wonder.
This is all happening during that first fall of the Corona virus pandemic. The first fall, after the first summer, after the first spring. And people are fearful of the winter and a second wave, a third? Amid the mask wearing controversies, the alleged government overreach or failure to protect, the other neighbors slowly shuttering their new home offices to return downtown, I can’t help but wonder.
What to Keep?
I know you wonder, too. What from our prior lives should live past the pandemic. The hatred, the jealousy, the greed, the misunderstanding. We can all agree that must die, right? Then breathe life into the partnerships, the caring, the protection of humanity and the creatures of the Earth. Noble and right to nourish those ideals, correct? We can agree to look at the world beyond ourselves, beyond our families, to neighbors, to acquaintances, to strangers from the other side of town, of the state, of the planet.
So I can’t help but wonder what these kids will be; the hateful fear mongers of petty jealousies, power grab politics and the opportunistic spitefulness of cable news, or a continuation of the innocence of youth, where kids and later adults can live and work and play and love together, as John Lennon’s “Imagine” continues to dream.
That these children of this neighborhood cross the street to play with each other leads me to think, to hope, that pettiness and greed and racism will die.
One day soon, I believe there will come a time we no longer have to “imagine all the people, sharing all the world.”, we’ll live it. Greed and profiteering and disdain for those perceived less-than-worthy will yield as we open our eyes to the fact that we are all worthy, no matter the social or economic class. One day soon, I believe you and I will understand the eyes you see staring at us are not from an enemy. Behind those eyes are the same fears, the same hopes and dreams that live in us, in our parents and in our children.
I believe that one day we will embrace the fact that behind another person’s eyes is a new friend, just waiting, hoping, for an introduction.