BY: ELLIE MANGO
Arch Cape, Oregon
When I was a kid my family had a dinner bell; a physical object whose entire existence was dedicated to beckoning small children inside from the outdoors. It reminded tiny reptilian brainstems that they could not in fact survive on running around all night, but needed sustenance in the form of food. Every summer night the bell tried so hard, stuck to the arm of my mom and rung helplessly beyond its recommended use, to get me to stop playing and come inside. Eventually this method worked, but then there were those days…those beautiful days when I was too far away to hear the bell, or dinner was late, or something entirely too interesting was happening for me to listen. Those were the days when you stopped playing street hockey, freeze tag, bike ramps, trampoline jumping, hide and seek, playground lava, or forts in the woods only because it got too dark to see. Exhausted yet bursting with the life of the earth itself, you find your way home, beaming with joy, because you sucked out every last second of your day. What could be more fun and fulfilling than that?
October 5th, 2015 was one of those beautiful days. It was a day of celebration, reunion of friends, and Mother Nature mysteriously gifting an unrivaled sunny and 70 to the Oregon coast in the middle of fall. The waves crashed, swimmers swam, surfers surfed, skinny dippers dipped, soccer goals were scored, and the sun began to set just as a game of volleyball began. All minds were so focused on the intense match up that nobody noticed their stomach gurgling with hunger or their muscles fatigued from jumping around in sand and water for hours (or running the Portland Marathon the day before). We could have played forever. But alas, the big ball of fire in the sky began to give way to the night as it sunk into the Pacific. As the sky darkened, we played until the bitter end; until no one could see the volleyball, the court lines in the sand, or even our own hands in front of us. Only then, did our game have to come to an end. Exhausted yet bursting with the life of the earth itself, we wandered back up the beach dunes to our home for the night, beaming with joy, because we sucked out every last second of our day.
Whenever given that kind of gift; take it, summon your inner second grader, stand up, walk out the door, grab a friend, go play until you can’t see, and SPEND YOUR WHOLE GOD DAMN DAY OUTSIDE!