As I sit here, ears assaulted by the sound of about a hundred screaming kids, I wonder at how I never noticed how loud the playground was when I was in school. I’ve been banished to a narrow strip of grass behind my brother’s school as he writes his exam. The longer that I sit under one of the few trees present, attempting to thwart the sun’s ever moving gaze, the more comforting the sound of the shrieking becomes. When you really listen, there’s an unbridled joy, a beautiful positive energy emanating from them. Balls fly up in the air, kids jumping and playing in their own peaceful (yet inordinately loud) world.
Adulthood. Watching these children I am struck with the realisation that I am no longer a part of their world. The biggest problem isn’t that I didn’t finish my math homework, or that I can’t for the life of me find my reading club book; I have been exposed to the “real world” for so long that the thought of not having terrorism or global warming on my mind feels like going home to a place you only just remembered you knew.
Image Credit: http://morguefile.com/search/morguefile/6/playground/pop
As the events of the past few days roll through my head, I find myself envying their ignorance. How many rainbows are out there on that field right now? How many of them are waiting be erased by the pull of a trigger? The Orlando shooting, a hate crime, so far from me, yet so close… It was children like these, all grown up, who died on June 11th, 2016. People who had no idea that their fate was to be killed for being who they are. People who didn’t think that their life would be cut short so brutally when they left home that day.
I have always been of the opinion that as long as you do not cause (or risk causing) anyone else pain or suffering, you should be allowed to do and be what you please. It is as simple as that. These people were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Killed for a cause that is just as inane as killing people because of the colour of their skin or the religion they subscribe to. I could be in an airport the next time a bomb goes off. Or at a theatre watching a movie when someone decides to pull out a gun. Killed not by accident, but because someone who may never be brought to justice, believes killing people is the answer to their woes. Their carefully constructed beliefs, a few words selected with utmost caution so as to justify taking away a life, completely ignoring the millions of words that prohibit it.
I look up at the sound of the teacher as she calls the students in. The stragglers, potential world soccer champions of the future, warrant a “Boys, lets go!” warning from her. I feel the urge to join their chorus of ‘aww’s. Let them play. Just 10 more minutes, please. Because we don’t know what tomorrow will bring, and no one has time to look up at the rainbows. They’re too busy dodging bullets, of words and lead.
Image Credit: http://img14.deviantart.net/8123/i/2011/222/0/4/chalk_rainbow_by_la34-d464j8b.jpg