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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1361165-Afternoons-and-Empty-Playgrounds
Rated: E · Essay · Cultural · #1361165
Ruminations on the time of day
Perhaps it's just me. Some people are morning people, greeting the newborn day with enthusiasm and hope. Others love the dusk, imagining the Fairy Folk dancing amid the shadows of the end of the day. Still, others love the dark of night, worshipping the orb of the moon.

But me?

I love afternoons. That time when shadows just begin to tip eastward and the light takes on a golden glow. Even the bees and butterflies slow their daily dances when the sun's yellow warmth makes flowers give off their heady perfumes. And the only sounds to be heard are the distant hissing of traffic and the faint squeals and screams of children extracting every bit of joy from their last recess of the schoolday.

There is something inherently sad about afternoons and empty playgrounds.

The long shadows of afternoon sunlight play between the leaves of schoolyard trees and the ghostly music of clanking swing chains hang in the air just beyond stillness, as if vacated just moments before. Even the birds seem too lonely to sing.

Yet, afternoons are that time largely ignored by workers, children, and the general public. Most are more concerned with ending their workday on time, arriving home in time for cheesey junkfood and video games, getting on the freeways ahead of the daily traffic grind.

Only a handful have paid homage to the afternoon, usually involving long summer days.

I cannot help myself. I love that time of day. For me, that's the time for reflection and rumination. Perhaps I prefer that sunny, empty loneliness to the loud, disorganized rush of workaday life. Perhaps this is a gift I have been afforded, this time to think and enjoy and listen to the newly created silence of afternoons and empty playgrounds.

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