I get the rare treat of visiting Fort Bragg, North Carolina on occasion. I am here now. Besides being an eye witness to extraordinary human beings and sacrifices no one ever considers there is a crazy wonderful phenomenon that exists here when the sun comes out. Even in winter! It occurs no place anymore and it involves the children. The children here at Fort Bragg
Picture a moment in your childhood when you cared about nothing. It is that time in your life when the most important thing is you and play. You feel completely free. There is nothing planned. There is no scheduled “play date” with a time limit or arranged activity. It is pure spontaneous time with stuff or friends—OUT. (Friends used loosely. Stuff used loosely.). Stuff someone pulled out of somebody’s garage. It’s a pick up basketball game that’s altered because somebody’s kid sister wanted to play and use her pink ball. It’s kids wearing a mixture of super hero costumes, princess dresses, sports gear, and army stuff with an occasional cowboy holster or hat. It’s found bugs and sticks made useful. It is pure children.
They all come out! No matter what. They come out in hoards from every house. They all know each other. They know every mom and dad. The sun calls to them. They play in the middle of the street, running from house to house wearing mismatched shoes, rain boots, bear feet or wet grimy socks because that was the quickest thing to get on before the temperature drags them back indoors.
I stare like I’m in a movie script from Sandlot. I stare because I can’t believe what I am witnessing! I stare because I love it way way deep inside me
A door inside my soul opens up wide when I come to Fort Bragg for many reasons. A door that has opened my eyes to things I never knew before. Practice bombs and artillary sounds are part of the daily noises. Taps is played everyday. Soldiers are everywhere practicing, working, preparing…honoring.
And when the sun comes out I feel that same spontaneous beautiful urge to put on some cardboard armor, grab somebody’s football helmet, pick up a stick and charge into the middle of the street, barefooted, where it feels completely free…