As I left for work today a young boy crossed the driveway ahead of me, walking along the sidewalk, on his way to school. Backpack on his back and swagger in his step and song in his mouth. He was about 9 years old and he was into his song. And the song was into him. It was in every corpuscle and working its way out into the sunshine. I couldn’t understand the words, all in Spanish, but I could understand the joy.
Phrases were conducted to the empty porches. Treetops were signaled to pay attention with pointed fingers for particular words. Sections of sidewalk were dance floors flowing one to the next for the bouncing, tapping, shifting sneakered feet.
As I walked behind him I couldn’t help but smile because it felt like the sunshine of the cool morning had found a second source. Maybe it was just reflective, but it seemed to be generated from this little heart, shining into the freedom of his walk to school.
As I came up alongside him at the corner where the light was against him, the beat and melody subsided into humming, tapping. His head bobbled as he checked out the street, the light, the traffic, me… but then it connected with the tune that percolated throughout. Occasional tiny half words popped with the gentle pressure that permeated his frame. He had a small, tan burnished face and squinting eyes in the morning sun,
The traffic dissipated and the light changed and I was ahead of him for a few steps, but the music returned, now filling the air around me.
And then it shot past, as we came to the next sidewalk, like something had signaled that it was time to really move. He went into a run, but the song didn’t change in pace or flow, except to grow louder. Before it stopped, if it did, he was clearly out of earshot, running in his song. I heard his singing run until it just faded from being too far down the block and mixing with the car and people and morning air noise.
I walked on considering this marvel and recognizing my desire to be part of it, to do it myself. I wanted to run and sing. I was part of this grand, good day as well. I know life and God’s good grace and peace in my heart. Sing and run! I walked on, smiling and whistling and came by the school where this warrior harpist had rushed so valiantly to face the challenges that would come. I walked on and felt this confirmation in my soul.
I am singing and running. I felt this verified thoroughly, throughout myself, down to my toes. I am doing it in different ways. But I also realized, for this to be true it must be evident to anyone who might catch sight of me. I pointed to the top of the tree I was passing and said, “Do it.” And whistled and slid and tapped the rest of the way to work, ready to face the challenges to come.