As a child I recalled looking forward to going to particular places to enjoy certain things. The amusement park near my Grandparents’ house in Massachusetts was where I would get to take all of my quarters and play skee ball. The County Park near our home had this big wooden platform on springs that several kids could stand on and start rocking it until we were all “surfing” to stay on it.
Whenever I play skee ball now (which is not nearly often enough) I remember that now-defunct arcade, bowling for the high score against my mom, and being with my grandparents. When I see kids playing at the park near my house I hope they are making memories like me and my rocking board.
By the time I achieved adulthood, Skee ball game systems and rocking boards became available at big box stores for Americans with money. If we chose, we could privately enjoy a skee ball system in your basement or a springboard in your backyard. It seemed like I was living in a pretty awesome time and place.
More recently I have come to think of purchasing those special things as less than awesome—sad even. Part of the joy and the specialness of these childish pursuits was that they were not available just anywhere. Games and toys are fun and exciting, but being with other people while you enjoy them makes it special. It takes community to be awe-some.
You all are awesome. You people who read this. You people (who might even be a serious introvert) know we all need each other. Even when I feel too tired for one more chat, I run into you and want to hear everything you say.
I am in awe of you, all of you and each of you. Your love, your stories, what hurts, your compassion, and where your joy comes from. I would play skee ball with any of you—out in public where we might meet strangers who contribute to the awe of beloved community.
In peace with love,