At Washington Elementary, if it was warm enough for normal school attendance, it was warm enough to play outside. Even on the coldest of winter days, we bundled, which really ate into our recess time, and played with the vigor of youth!
On our playground, front and center, was a grand set of “monkey bars.” We didn’t question it then, but these monkey bars had a giant head of a dragon. And on this dragon we would climb and jump, secure that if we fell, we would be safe in our winter’s bundle. Sometimes, someone lost a bit of their tongue on a dare – just like in the Christmas movie – when dared to stick their tongue on the frozen bars. But mostly we ran. We jumped. We climbed. Huffing and puffing in the winter cold, like baby dragons. So thrilled by the sight of our own breath! We were alive!
Yesterday, two friends made the two hour drive from Minneapolis in the bitter cold (below zero), just to see me for 10 minutes and get signed copies of my newest book. They even brought presents! My mom watched in delight from the upstairs window. (No COVID spreading here.) My friends and I laughed and danced around in the cold. Hugging and laughing like baby dragons. And it is was as thrilling as it was on the playground so many years ago, to see my own laughter — as it hung in the air — proof that joy could be found on any day — in any temperature! What a glorious feeling to be alive!!!