As I entered the parking lot of the apartment complex across from my church, I noticed two boys running and laughing. It was not an unusual sight on a late summer afternoon. Then I noticed the source of their interest. They each chased plastic grocery bags. They threw them up into the wind and then, as the bags were whisked away in the breeze, the boys ran after them, laughing and grinning.
Children have that way about them, the ability to create fun out of the mundane. Poverty holds no regard for the welfare of children. Neither do children hold any regard for the limitations of poverty on their ability to unleash their imaginations within and beyond the confines of their circumstances.
I watched in wonder as they frolicked in the sun, not a care weighing them down for the moment. Play is their indigenous language. And the toys they imagine even in poor circumstances form the vocabulary they utilize (This concept was originally articulated by Gary Landreth, Author of Play Therapy). A world of wonder in the frontier of pre-adolescent imagination. Imaginations uninhibited by self-conscious awareness of playing with someone’s discarded refuse. Two boys, two bags, and their laughter carrying in the wind throughout the trash-strewn parking lot.