Last week I attended a children’s penny carnival for work, and took these photos. When I looked at the images afterwards, I was struck by how nostalgic they made me feel. Something about the power of fun and games, and the riches you can buy with a bag full of carefully saved coins.
I came across two children kneeling on the ground. They were picking spilled pennies out of the dry grass. Moments earlier, the pennies had filled a blue plastic Stax tube. “Good eyes,” I said, when the little boy found some especially hidden coins.
“Good eyes,” he kept repeating, turning the words over and over again in his mouth, like a hard candy that he was trying to suck every last lick of pleasure from.
“Do you have a girl?” his big sister asked me, as I helped them re-fill the Stax container.
“No, I don’t have any kids.” Like empty pants pockets turned inside out, my woman-ness felt momentarily deflated, and empty.
There was a water balloon relay race. Each team member had to break a water balloon over their head. It was a hot day. I laughed to see the expressions on the kids’ faces, and hear the squeals, when the cold water hit the backs of their necks.
And colouring… is there anything more thrilling than a container full of crayons or pencil crayons? There is a world of possibility in a handful of pigment.
I appreciate the fun you can buy with a penny or two.