It was early afternoon. The sun was shining in the sky and I was already awake. That shouldn’t be, because it was the twilight in which I was supposed to wake up and not in the catches of the early afternoon sun. Quite crumpled and probably angry too, I wondered what might have woken me. I could just go back to sleep, I thought, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t. That damn noise, I still thought. Then I finally realized what had woken me up and kept me from falling asleep again. It was noise, motley, unfamiliar noise. I tried to listen carefully and began to distinguish between voices and laughter. That couldn’t really be true, it shot through my head as I quickly got dressed and hurried to the pier. Next to the footbridge, on the meadow, there were my ring wheels and the swing, and there were actually children, and these children made the noise that had driven me out of bed at such an unusual time.
„What are you doing here?“ I asked the raging mob.
„We’re playing,“ said a little girl lightly, without pausing in her game.
„And why here?“ I asked further.
“Because we have nowhere else to go. Everywhere they say we are too loud and we disturb the adults and we are too lively”, explained a boy to me, who now stopped next to me and looked at me. Involuntarily, I took a step back.
„Yes, you are loud and you woke me up,“ I replied, still a little grumpy, but also with awakening curiosity.
„How can you sleep at this time of day,“ said a girl who was just jumping off the ring game.
„How can you be up at this time of day?“ I replied unmoved.
„The sun is shining and we finally have time to play,“ explained the boy who was still standing next to me.
„I’ll show you what we’re doing,“ announced another girl, taking me by the hand and pulling me with her without much fuss. There was not only frequented the ring game and the swing, but there was also a group that had built a cave and played family or Indians, depending on their taste. Down by the stream, a dam was being built. I was overwhelmed by all this activity, and in spite of the game, the seriousness with which every child went about their work together. Nobody had bought it for them. Nobody monitored it, and yet everything was harmonious and free from oppression. It was a real, successful, cooperative togetherness. Nobody stood outside. Nobody was excluded. At some point I dared.
“Can I play?” And I was allowed to. It wasn’t until dawn that the children ran home.
„Wake me up,“ I told them on the way.
I hadn’t slept that afternoon, and I hadn’t done anything productive either, in the strict sense, and yet I had probably not been as close to life for a long time as I was this afternoon, to living, breathing life. Feel life and reach for it with open hands, laughing, cheerful and curious. Everything can be anything, in the imagination, and there is nothing that cannot enrich life, as long as it happens together. And if we stop at the stubborn adult point of view, we will probably never be able to make life really come alive.