October in Nebraska can be very windy (or very cold, or very snowy or very warm even). October is strange that way. But on this one particular day it was very windy. But a good windy. Recess duty was a joy. The sun was bright and the temperature mild. The wind was from the south at about 25 mph, a pretty typical wind speed for Nebraska. Second grader Alexia was by my side and we were walking and talking and discussing various joys in our lives.
That’s when things changed. The West Lincoln playground is exposed, out in the open, except for the doorway. The doorway is at a part of the building shaped like an “L,” and all trash and leaves within a mile seem to gather there. As we made our way closer to the door, the leaves swirled violently around and around in a sort of mini-tornado, whipping here and there, blinding me and causing me to cover my eyes for fear of injury. My pleasant walk with Alexia had become treacherous.
Alexia, however, didn’t see a tornado. In the beautiful sunshine, this second grader saw something quite different. “Look Ms. Brugmann,” she exclaimed “the leaves are dancing!”
Instantly I knew she was right, and my destructive tornado transformed into a graceful whirling dervish.