Back in elementary school I was introduced to the holy grail of children’s literature: Shel Silverstein. It was story time for my second grade class, and the librarian read us a few poems from Where the Sidewalk Ends, and I’m not gonna lie, even I was more interested in the drawings than the actual poems at first. But one poem in particular stuck out to me. Where the sidewalk ends ultimately blew my mind. Now that I’m older though, I’ve figured out Shel’s message in the poem. Adults fail to see the glory and joy in life. Kids are so gifted in the sense that they can maintain such a joyous outlook on life, no matter the circumstances. I’m 18, but that doesn’t mean I must have such a dreary perspective on life.
“Let us leave this dark place where the smoke blows black and the dark street winds and binds.” Shel is referring and speaking out to the adults. It’s like the adults are sleep-walking; slaves to their unconscious minds, and stuck in a never-ending dream of a 9-5 boring lifestyle. My dad’s hands are riddled with blisters and scars from his job as a welder. Remember when the blisters we received when the monkey bars attracted our hands like magnets? Those wounds are glorious and we wear them like battle scars that are louder than thunder. We’re programmed to feel joy – feel something, and we can’t fool our own wiring. You can only cheat emotions and life with apathy for so long. It seems like apathy is more addicting than nicotine nowadays.
They say that age doesn’t define maturity, but I believe joy sure does because what really makes you grown up is the feeling of enjoyment, the feeling of seeing your newborn child, love for the little things, and love for people – that feeling is joy. There’s no fulfillment of life if your down in the dumps.
My friends and I have this “group” that were not completely serious about, but have enough fun with it to the point where it’s almost weird. We call this little gang the “scooter squad”. It’s more badass than anything really, and whenever we have nothing to do, we can break out our scooters and mob around town. The fact that we can turn a boring day into a freaking livid one by simply trading in our car keys for scooters, is phenomenal.
If you’re ever confused about the whereabouts of this so-called “joy,” just go where the white chalk arrows go, because that’s where the sidewalk ends, in the heart of the scooter squad turf.