Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Weekend Egg Toss Restores Faith in Humankind

Okay, it's not that I don't have faith in humankind. I do. I really do. But, sometimes it seems we live in a world that is increasingly competitive, divided and, well, self-focused. This weekend at my Mom's neighborhood fourth of July festivities, my faith was restored.

Picture this, if you will. A neighborhood of families engaged in the annual fourth of July field games. Sack races. Balloon toss. Egg Toss. Tug o war. Some of the games kindly group competitions by age --giving those young and inexperienced (and perhaps the elderly and over-experienced) a chance. But, the egg toss is an exception. It is a a generation-wide competition. And, as far as I can tell in the couple of years I've been going to this gathering--it's super competitive. I think families have held winning titles for generations. This year, titles -- and, perhaps some pride - cast aside.

As the gap between tossers widened, my daughter and her cousin (one year her elder-visiting from Maui) kept tossing. Their tosses (particularly my daughter's) came no where near they were supposed to reach. But, each cousin ran to whereever the egg would drop and roll and pick it up and return to their spot. The judges and the fewer and fewer remaining contestants gracefully ignored the fact that the girls, by all standards, should have been disqualified many tosses before. As I sat in awe, admiration and amusement from the sidelines, I wondered what inspired the competitors to toss the rules aside. Was it the awe of the fact that the egg that repeatedly dropped and bounced never broke? Or, was it the determination (and pride) of two little girls? Whatever it was, it was a beautiful, beautiful thing.

The girls took home first place ribbons for the egg toss -- and, quite honestly, I am not sure I've ever seen two little girls quite so proud.

Thank you to all those Wildwood players and judges for your grace -- and to that chicken who laid one amazingly strong egg.

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