It is quiet at the school-crossing in April and May. Very quiet.
There are hardly any students. Maybe a dozen.
Just the one uses the school-crossing. A fair-haired boy.
I stand there in my hi-vis uniform. Silent whistle on the third and fourth fingers of my left hand, waiting. Orange stop sign – the lollipop – resting on the red and white post. Waiting.
There are not many cars but I’m there, two hours a day, five days a week. For one student. And the handful of locals out for a walk.
I’m standing there, thinking of a John Lennon song about watching the wheels go round and round.
I’m standing there thinking of that Samuel Beckett play, Waiting For Godot.
One very cold morning a nearby resident brings a hot chocolate. It warms my hands and my heart.
I’m sipping the hot drink and wondering if I’ll remember the names of all the children when they, eventually, return.
Emilia and Moray, Sophie and Audrey, Louis and Thomas, Alex, Hamish, Liam, Dash, Raffi, Alice, Gwen, Bella, Kirsty, Eliza, Tyson, Gabrielle, Mia..
Will I still remember their names and faces when they all come back to school?
The fair-haired boy arrives. Samuel. I gather my lollipop, check the traffic – there is none, of course – and blow my whistle. Samuel and I say hello.
It is quiet at the crossing. I am grateful for the work.