Essay: On the playground

Feb 20, 2020

I live near Traverse City’s Central Grade School and whenever I pass the playground during recess, I can’t help but marvel at the noise.  There is almost constant screaming—but not unhappy screaming.  These are young kids having fun


And it makes me wonder what happens to that need to scream when we grow up?  Does it go underground? Is there some impulse inside me what wishes it could scream twice a day for twenty minutes?  

I think there is.  I suspect it exists in each of us and we redirect its energy in much less healthy ways.  We eat too much or drink too much. Criticize our colleagues or partners. Scold our kids or pets.

When really, we just need a chance to blow off steam on the playground.  I think of sports fans who go a little crazy when their team wins—or loses.  Or people at rock concerts. They scream and holler and act like—well, like children.

So, I wonder if we should keep having recess all the way through high school—and in the workplace?  Instead of taking coffee breaks, we could all go outdoors and run around and scream.  

I feel better, just thinking about it.