From my book…Mom’s Eye View.
There’s nothing as lonely as an overgrown playground with rusting equipment. The sight of an abandoned school yard bereft of the sounds of children at play, is like seeing a backyard pool with autumn leaves floating across the darkened water. It reminds me of the passing of seasons and the loss of lazy afternoons filled with fun and laughter.
I stand and look at what once was a small schoolhouse, now converted into a home. I see, in my mind, the shadows of its former life. The windows lifted open wide on a warm spring day, the fresh air clearing out the chalk dust and mustiness of a classroom that’s been closed off for the winter. I can see the doors suddenly banging open as children rush out to claim the spring day as their own.
They burst onto the schoolyard, a bundle of tamped down energy, charging towards the once shiny swings. The swing’s only purpose, to aid in its young pilot’s flight into the heavens.
I can visualize the crooked line of impatient children waiting to mount the first step that will lead to the top of a gleaming slide. I see the sun beating down on its surface, warming it to a finger jumping touch. The glare from the sun on the shiny slide, momentarily blinding the children; causing them to squint before flying down the length of the slide.
I imagine hearing the playful screams of little girls being chased by boys. Boys climbing over one another as they scale the jungle gym; racing against one another in order to be the first to make it to the top.
On the asphalt, jump rope fanatics twirl and skip to a monotonous and lyrical beat. Still others hopscotch into chalked squares after throwing down a pebble.
The sound of a basketball slamming against a backboard; then the resounding thwack of it hitting the tar, prompts a whoop from a child who is now two points ahead in the game.
A whistle tweets and a loud chorus of disappointment echoes across the playground. Children reluctantly shuffle across the school yard to line up, single file, then obediently re-enter the small house of education.
I walk over the to now-faded leather seat of a swaying swing and sit. I automatically push off and begin to pump my feet, then arch my back in an effort to increase momentum. I close my eyes and think back to a little girl who also yearned to reach the heavens.
When I open my eyes, I realize how quickly the years have flown by and I’m saddened by the passage of time. There are so many demands on being an adult that there seems no time to relax. Would I want to be a child again? I don’t think so. To go back would mean to relive my life. Though there are many moments that were wonderful, there are also moments of heartbreak and sorrow.
Still, it would be nice to feel that carefree spirit of when I was a child. To once again believe in nothing more than being able to reach the heavens, on playground swing.
From my book, Mom’s Eye View.