At this time of night the park by my home is calm and peaceful . The children have gone home and it is too early for the teenagers who come here late to spoil the innocence in the atmosphere. So many memories of happiness and joy are represented in the trees and grass of this park. Tonight there is a light breeze that tickles the hair on your arms but it’s neither cold nor unpleasant. In the summer it smells like grass and the concrete is warm, after the sun goes down it slowly releases its heat. A walkway circles all the way around the soccer field. I remember learning how to ride my bike here, feeling the wind in my hair and the sense of independence and pride in my accomplishment as I went around and around the circle. There is a creek right next to the park. When we were little my dad would bring us down here and we would splash in the clean cool running water and build sand castles. The sound of the slow trickle of the water was soothing and peaceful. We would bring my dog at he would stay cool by lying in the water and just watching us play and protecting us. It is sad to see the lack of resemblance this place I stand now is to the place in my memories. Now the river doesn’t run. It is stale and the smell of algae replaces the clean refreshing scent of the trickling river. I can’t imagine a kid ever wanting to play in this now.
We would hunt through the long wavy grass as if we were on a safari, looking for snakes and frogs. If we found some we would bring them back to the house and keep them in a bucket until we thought they were hungry, then we would let them go where we found them. I don’t know why I was able to stand the smooth dry feel of their skin, which now sends cold shivers up my spin.
From where I am I would usually be able to see our old club tree. I’m sure the size has grown in my mind, but this tree was huge. All the bark was taken off of the biggest branch to reveal a silky table, there was enough room for five kids to play up there. This was no tree, this was a boat drifting down a rushing crashing river or a spaceship counting down for liftoff. The lader we built was made out of rotten would and harder to use than simply climbing the tree, but we were so proud of making it ourselves. Maybe it’s just because the sun is setting and it’s getting hard to see, but I’m pretty sure that tree no longer stands in the place it was, a strong sturdy giant.
The playground itself brings back a lot of memories. I remember sitting on the swing bench with my latest crush, his sweet smily bobbing under his rusty red hair. I still find its steady rocking and smooth cold bars comforting. We would always play groundsies and four square on the basketball courts. I always cheated but I never won. Now when I come here its usually with the kids I babysit for, eager to get out of the confines of there houses and out into the bright sunlight. I enjoy watching them have fun, but it’s not the same as how it used to be. The rusty slider thing used to be so difficult and require alot of faith to take the first step and push myself off the sturdy platform, now I can slide easily and barely stretch to reach the ground. The handle underneath my fingers is cold and dense, I remember grasping onto it with all my strength knowing that letting go before I reached the other side would mean pain. As I bounce and fly on the seesaw i think it might fail under my weight. The painful groan of the tire supporting the seesaw is enough to show its protest. I think its sad how much it has changed, or more how much I have changed. I miss my dad pushing me on the swings, being amazed at how strong he was to make me go so high. I miss all my old friends that used to play with me here, all of them have moved away now except for Lily and she is really different now, I haven’t talked to her in a really long time.
Everything here has a memory attached to it. The light pull in the corner of the parking lot reminds me of my brother. Last summer me and one of my best friends came down here one night to hang out and we brought Jackson. It was so much fun. On the way back we lost him but then we turned around and he was all the way at the top of this pull. When he got closer to the bottom of the pull he started doing all these flips and twists and random stripper moves. I don’t even want to know where he learned to dance like that but we almost died laughing. I will be scared for life because of that but that was a really good night. From the window of my room, I see beauty in the mountains outside, as the sun sets behind them and the clouds turn to fire with purple and orange tongues reaching out into the sky. I see beauty in the soft twinkle of the city; from far away the chaos and confusion reflect only stillness. However, the beauty in this park