In high school, we did a performance of “Our Town”.
(Don’t most people at one point or another?)
I remember her voice echoing in the room, solid but shaky.
“Do human beings ever realize life while they live it? Every, every minute?”
I’d read it probably a hundred times before I heard it.
Once spoken, my ears truly heard.
Once spoken, so did my heart.
It pops into my mind so very often.
An eloquent reminder to soak it all in.
I had some old black contact paper that I cut into strips.
I made a big loop of a road where the living room rug usually is.
And then added a few side roads.
The children led in the road construction and I obediently followed their commands.
Once all the curvy parts were done, they took over the project.
They drew houses and buildings – a vet office, a hospital, restaurants, stores, a gas station, and more.
We made a pond and an airport runway with blue painter’s tape.
They even stocked the pond with lots of frogs and fish (stickers).
Each family got a (sticker) pet or two.
I listened to them make up stories and laugh and giggle for hours.
They spent nearly 4 hours constructing Busytown, USA -
A name they came up with even though they’ve never heard of Richard Scarry.
(Although I suppose it’s not really such a creative name.)
They devoted so much time to building the city that they never really had time to play with it.
I feel like I should leave it down a little longer, but I’m just not sure.
All of the furniture is pushed to the side so that Busytown can flourish.
The neighborhood is on Busy Lane and each of the houses have names like The Giant or The Tall.
There are cats that live at Sonic. At night when Sonic closes, the cats go in and make chicken and fries for dinner.
There’s also a jail. The guy who’s in there got out on bail once, but made a bad decision and now has double bail and he’ll be in for a long time.
There used to be a Target, but they had a fire. Only two people were hurt, but they got well quickly.
When it reopens, it’s going to have a brilliant chandelier in the entry by the sliding magic doors.
Construction has already been started and they are shipping the chandelier from Timbuktu.
I said not a word, just listened.
This world of their imagination was fascinating.
I should have videoed it, but I was too busy acting like I wasn’t listening.
If I had shown any acknowledgment, they would have clammed up.
It is mind-boggling to think about how young you are when you start worrying that other people think your dream is silly.
But I want our town to be a place where dreams can sprout and grow.
A place where people are encouraged and loved and valued.
A place where people feel safe and comfortable.
In our town, I want to realize life as we live it – every, every minute.