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September 27, 2009

A peaceful lunch

So there I was on a park bench on a warm autumn Friday, my turkey sandwich in one hand and the last few pages of my book in the other, contemplating how lovely it was to be able to take an hour away from work to do such things.

Ambient noise from the playground a block away began to distract me. Like a thundercloud gathering force, the thumps of several pint-sized feet galloping on the pavement drew ever closer. I looked up from a crucial scene in my book to see a gaggle of schoolchildren brandishing handmade pinwheels racing past me.

"Pinwheels for peeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaccccceeeeeeee!" they yelled as they whooshed by, seemingly about to run into oncoming traffic before making a sharp right and continuing down the other side of the block.

After the first lap some tired and others nursed broken pinwheel backbones. They clustered around my bench, where their teacher had taken up residence for the purpose of pinwheel first aid.

While waiting for some attention, or perhaps while catching his breath before another lap, a boy threatened to cut off his classmate's arm with his pinwheel. "We want peace, not cutting off arms," she admonished witheringly.

Another girl repeatedly declared, "PEACE! OUT! YO!" while violently thrusting her pinwheel in the air to punctuate each syllable.

At some unknown signal the children abandoned their activities to race back to the end of the block where they had first made their presence known, chanting, "Pinwheels for peace! Pinwheels for peace, not war!"



  1. I love that one pinwheel with the face that seems larger than the little girl's head! Great photo. I kept thinking to myself--only in Portland...

  2. Keeping Portland weird, I suppose...