Friday, March 16, 2007

The Great Game

The countryside is charming, seemingly touched but undisturbed.
I am very happy walking down this dirt road.
Someone in my entourage shades me from the merrily glowing sun with a parasol.
I am confused by the scene I have stumbled into. It takes me a few moments to realize I have interrupted some organized sport.
On the left side of the road are gathered an assortment of young men and boys, healthy and good natured youths, many of whom have impishly discarded their shirts. On the right side a smaller gathering of somberly and properly clad little old women have converged.
Both sides are eagerly throwing summer ripened strawberries at the opposing camp. The boys are shouting and laughing, their trouser legs are rolled up. Their zeal for the battle is equally matched to that of the old women.
This band of gray ladies is mirthful as well, although they have a more subdued way of expressing it. I am caught in the crossfire. Big juicy strawberries so ripe they explode at impact hail down on me.
There is a cease fire and the young men come into the street to check on me. They offer apologies mingled with laughter.
The delight and good will emanating from both sides is contagious. I feel very pleased by the whole affair.

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