A day at the park

August 18, 2009 at 12:45 am (cheesy sentimentalities, pieces of me, random Puffs, the continuing adventures of Superpuff)

“True nostalgia is an ephemeral composition of disjointed memories”

Florence King

I remember a time, not so long ago, when the playground was a place of magic.

When, higher than imagination, swings soared, and one more push might tear you from reality. When clinging desperate fingers cramped tighter than vices clenched those chains that were all that held you here.And if you should care to (dare to) release your tenacious grip on the here-and-now, flight was – for those breathtaking moments until sneakers met earth once more and bones clattered into place – yours.

I remember a time. . .

When slides swooped down from impossible heights, and metal would burn . . .but it didn’t matter. Here was a place where palpitating fear met reckless abandon punctuated with a feel of bulletproof safety, because a kiss and a band-aid were all it took to make everything alright again.

I remember . . .

When sand inside socks was of no consequence, and works of fine art were created in castles – each one bigger than the last. Never pausing to catch a breath, an hour could last a million, seamless and indistinguishable.

Scents on fingers of metal and mud, and uplifted faces dirt-smudged, freckled from the sun, independent and brave. . .exhilarated.

But thats all vanished now. . .

Wood and metal turned to brighter than life primary in plastic, all sun-faded and weathered. Lofty heights, diminished – crouching low and shamed – have negated the climb that was once so brave to one so small. Vanished are the swings, those few that remain stand stunted and humble, unable to reach the sky. Wooden slivers hug the earth where sand that haunted passersby shoes once dwelt.As homage is paid to the master named Safety, have we forgotten the importance of such a places as these? Bumps, bruises, scratches, scrapes. . .these are not the things that lived on in me.

And I wish she could have been there. . . could have seen it the way it was before it was fixed, before they made it better by ruining everything it stood for. She would love it, I know she would. She’d be right up in it, and my heart would stop ten thousand times before each moment passed. Oblivious to danger, she would run. She would climb. She would jump. And it would be okay. Because it was always okay. I only wish I could show her. . .

All changes within its alloted course, and what was is gone now forever. Only memory remains to paint those rusty scraps with the glow of a childhood now grown. But that’s okay, too. . .I can be content to experience the wonder of what is freshly through her sparkling blues, so very like my own. And if there are some things – moments and places and whispers in time – that I can’t hold onto for her, I’ll let them go, and open my arms to her for something new. . .

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7 Comments

  1. Yourbiggestfan said,

    awww….how very true, though. I, too, remember wooden and metal playgrounds. metal slides that burned and scorched your legs as you slide down them from what seemed to be stories high! Much higher than our parents were tall, which, was impossible! The height has diminished, you’re right, but plastic still does scorch and burn. 🙂

  2. Kelli said,

    ah, the good old days!! Love the way you have with words!!!

  3. deb said,

    this was phenomenal. the writing, the sentiment, the memories jarred, and the poignant
    yet loving way you are a mother in the present.
    things change, perhaps there are too many physical safety nets, but I am sure the ones in parent hearts, are still not guaranteed.

  4. Jenn said,

    at this moment, I am back, back in a place where my brother and I would run wild during our annual family picnic. the metal “slicky slide”, the thick chained swings, and the wooden teeter-totter that made you feel you where a mile above it all…thank you for helping me remember!!

  5. Jo @ Rapid said,

    There is nothing more beautiful than a love between a mother and daughter. There are some people in the world that don’t appreciate what they’ve created and it’s so refreshing to see and read about such love.

    Thank you for sharing 😉

  6. Tori said,

    I love playgrounds!!! And if the one in the pics is the one I’m thinking of…. there is a giant blue slide there…. larger than any metal slide I have ever seen before! An dthat one burns too! Lets do a play date at a play gorund!

  7. T’s Big Day « Huginn, Muninn, and me said,

    […] something birthday-fabulous and different from the norm, but all T wanted to do was go to the playground – she was quite insistent about it, actually. Far be it from me to dissuade her from the […]

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