Thursday, September 1, 2011
The Yellow School Bus
Despite believing with my whole heart that Summer would never end when growing up in the country, September brought reality with the return of the yellow school bus. After what felt like a century-long time lapse devoted to playing down at the creek-pretending and swinging on the rope with its big knot-going out and around and over the creek and sometimes in it and riding on telephone pole rafts off on great adventures from one bank of that sucker-filled creek to the other; climbing into the hay lofts of our grandfather's old barn and walking across the rickety, wooden planks going from one hayloft to the other; spending hours day after day in our chicken coop clubhouse pretending, creating, reading, writing,and producing great circuses and art shows which the adults, I am sure, loved attending-it happened-that yellow school bus was once again coming around the bend of the road to pick us up and take us back to that other world we'd left behind so very long ago.
Riding daily on a school bus forges unspoken friendships. Watching kids saying good-bye as they'd walk down driveways or wave to moms standing by the side of the road, you felt like you really knew these kids while most times you hardly ever spoke to each other. Usually everyone sat in the same place. Bigger kids seemed to gravitate to the back. No matter where you sat, the bumps felt along the way would pop you right up in your seat and cause uncontrollable laughter.
The bus driver was conveniently a bit deaf so he was oblivious to the chatter going on behind him. Returning home was noisier. Anticipation was usually the cause especially when the creek and the barn and fields and our chicken coop clubhouse were waiting! To this day when I see someone who'd ridden that yellow school bus with me I feel a special bond and remember them as those half-awake little kids climbing aboard a big yellow school bus from that first day in September to the last lazy, hazy summer day in June.