Friday, January 21, 2011


I sat in the little bistro sipping my Peppermint Mocha Latte. Outside, the snow was falling thick and wet on the sidewalks, awnings, and street. Three little boys burst through one of the entry doors of the brown stone apartment building across the street. They began pushing snow into piles with what appeared to be shovels. Long wooden sticks, rounded at the top and sanded to a smooth finish, were pushed into bright red, orange, and green scoops.

I reached down and picked up the Palm Recorder I brought with me. Holding it firmly in my palm, I began transmitting my observations. The older boy was certainly in charge. I watched as he stood on top of a particularly high snow bank and pointed to the eventual locations of the snow piles. The youngest boy was diligent. No matter the directions, he worked until the task was completed and then asked for another. They were a good pairing. But it was the middle child that caught my attention.

He stood quietly off to the side observing the other two. After a few minutes, he would approach one boy or the other, his face close to theirs. I watched fog shaped words float between the two. Then the boy he was speaking to would walk away. I wondered what he would say to them. Nothing ever seemed to change. Almost nothing. Sometimes he would help shovel or stand on the snow bank, but otherwise he'd stand off to the side.

I continued to watch for another half an hour before the boys went back inside. Finishing my Latte, I put the palm recorder away and left a tip on the table. I walked through the Employee Only door and slid through the gateway.

*** Daily Writing Practice ***

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