We visited an old playground today. My husband played there when he was not much older than our oldest. A little pathway wove between vintage swing sets, wooden bridges, rustic teeter totters, and an old purple dinosaur. The tall wooden fence surrounding the park was sagging just enough to be give it a romantic air, especially with the overgrown greenery embracing it. And beyond the play equipment the park stretched back into a hideaway that would make a perfect backdrop for childhood make believe. The instant this playground and I met my heart skipped a beat.
What caught my attention the most was a vintage merry-go-round that was near the stagecoach jungle gym. It had four steel animals, a sheep, a seahorse, a bird and a horse, on a wooden spinning base. Their paint was faded and chipped, a sign that many years of children had sat upon them. I couldn’t help but feel that if I spun it hard enough and hopped on at just the right moment it would carry me back in time. And then my mind envisioned all the parents and children who had ever played at this park and I wondered what paths their lives followed when they left this beautiful place.
Many of my romantic imaginings today were inspired by the books I have read. As my children squealed with delight, explored and created their own imaginary adventures where their poppa once played, my heart was content. Childhood should be filled with books and merry-go-rounds.