I watched a boy dance with the wind this morning.
He didn’t know I was watching from my second-story window as he played alone in the gusty 40 mph wind. He was perhaps 12 years old and, on this unseasonably warm day, wore a bright yellow T-shirt and shorts. His tan baseball cap was turned backward and snugged down tight.
He had a football and was running his own private scrimmage against the wind. Ducking, juking, feinting, he shed the tackles and charged forward. Only once was the ball knocked from his hands, and he had to scurry a long way downwind to recover it.
After a while, he put the football on a bench so he could play a different game. He raced headlong into the wind, then backpedaled furiously as it pushed against him. He ran forward again, this time dipping left, jumping right. I thought he was running some kind of agility drill, until I realized he was trying to catch leaves as they whipped by. Whenever he caught one he would raise it to the sky and dance a triumphant little circle dance.
Tiring of that, he leaned into the wind, stood on tiptoe, and spread his arms wide, willing himself to fly. He balanced that way several times, not quite able to lift off, but looking for all the world like he might.
Eventually, inevitably, he scooped up his ball and trotted away, having won his game, caught his leaves, danced in triumph, and — almost — having flown.