Good morning, Netizens…
Imagine, if you will, a street scene in Spokane, where the warm August afternoon lays across the city like a lazy courtesan, granting her favors to some but not all our residents.
A gang unit police car, always eagerly sniffing the air for errant activity in our neighborhood, smoothly idles down the summer street, and spying a young woman dressed in a gang hoody, he pauses beside her on the street and rolling down his passenger window, politely asks her name, where she lives and where she is going. From my vantage point, I can see him typing on the terminal inside the car, perhaps verifying who she might be.
Another day, perhaps, he might have put her inside the sterile cocoon of the squad car, but today he simply concluded his conversation, watching her closely as she continued up the street, ostensibly toward her destination. Or perhaps she was who she stated, albeit dressed in gang attire, walking down the sidewalk in a benign neighborhood, minding her own business and trying to avoid trouble. With a clash of technology, he suddenly accelerates, and within a few minutes I see him dashing up the next street down, once more in the hunt for someone who perhaps fits a profile that he recognizes as someone who is up to no good.
As the afternoon continues waning, the birds in the trees begin quieting down for the evening, the kids on their bicycles that have been eagerly moving up and down the avenue in a madcap manner for most of the day, have nearly all headed for home and the genteel tranquility of the neighborhood slowly begins delicately slowing down to its evening serenity.
It was nearly dusk when I heard an approaching young woman's voice from up the street singing, and so I remained in my chair on the front lawn the better to see what this might be about. As she passed by I could discern she was perhaps 14 or 15 years of age, with long red pigtails, riding her bicycle, and singing the National Anthem in her delicate voice, as she hustled down the street on her way to somewhere in the evening dusk. Perhaps sensing me sitting in the shadow of the bushes, she stands upright on her bike's pedals and increases her speed as she moves across the intersection and on down the avenue. She could have sung anything and I probably would not have recalled it later, but even as she crossed a block down from where I sat, I could still hear her singing as she passed through the evening ether.
When it transparently fell from dusk to nearly darkness, and still contemplating the young woman riding her bike and singing our National Anthem, I finally withdrew for the night, and rejoined my family gathered around the kitchen table. When I related the sight of the young girl singing as she rode through the dusk, and the song she chose to sing as she traveled down the street, my family understood how it had touched me, and left me satisfied, like I had just had a good meal.
Life doesn't get much better than this, I guess.