Yesterday, a handful of us chose to play Four Square with our fifteen-minute morning break. No, this is not some trendy app or goofy online timesuck. This is the simple, pure, beautiful recess game of old: four boxes (drawn with sidewalk chalk), a bouncy kickball, and the sacred chance for glory—or, at least, some good laughs.
We went over the rules, and commenced revisiting our fourth grade selves. Early on, we realized our fourth grade selves were much smaller, a simple fact conducive to effective Four Square play. It took a bit of adjustment, but in time we all did our best Quasimodo impressions in order to stay low and ready to fight off that ever-invading bouncy ball.
It was a lot of fun. I dove. I mean, that has to say something, right? I dove (sort of) as a full-grown man (sort of) during break-time Four Square! We played again in the afternoon, and there were even more players. A buzz was forming! No telling what today would bring!
But what it brought was rain—there would be no joy in Mudville. Game off. Cancelled. Sorry, we’re closed.
Early in the morning one of the previous day’s combatants walked by my office, “Looks like normal break today, huh?” he said.
“Yep,” I concurred.
“Well, tomorrow,” he shrugged matter-of-factly.
And he is right. Tomorrow! We’ll play again tomorrow!
It is a small moment, I know. A silly game, a sillier hope: to play Four Square with my friends at work. But even the smallest of hopes—the insignificant ones—are beautiful nonetheless.
Hope is Four Square. Sometimes we get knocked out, sometimes the ball hits us, sometimes we dive in a game where there should certainly be no diving. But then, everyone laughs and you get to await your next turn—when you get to reenter the game and try again. When things will be better. When the beautiful Shakespearean turn happens and everything changes for the better. When tomorrow comes.
It is hope. We all have it somewhere within us. And we all need more and more of it—we need to cling to it, understand it, grow it, and have it move us to embrace life, and life abundantly.
So, Four Square tomorrow. I sure hope you can make it. And I hope for the future. I’ll bring the ball.