I’m sitting in Central Park! Okay, it’s not that Central Park. It’s the one just around the corner from where I live, the neighborhood park next to a school. It is 74 degrees and sunny with a light breeze. The leaves are turning brown and falling, little by little, to the ground, leaving the trees half naked. I don’t like leafless trees, so I prefer looking at the pines. The shrubs and grass are beginning to turn yellow and brown as well, another sign that summer is leaving us and autumn is taking its place. It’s been seven years since I experienced fall. I’m bracing myself for what comes after that! The bare trees will be shivering in the cold winds… but today is beautiful.
On my short walk to the park I passed a baseball diamond where a few people were practicing. I don’t care much for sports, but there are a few sounds I enjoy: the crack of a bat making contact with a baseball and the squeak of tennis shoes on a basketball court. I also passed a family loading up the minivan to head out for the afternoon, or maybe even the weekend. The dad sang, “just the four of us…” and in my head I continued, “we can make it if we try…” As I approached the playground, I saw the sign that lists all the no-nos: no loud music, no firearms, no fireworks, no misuse of the park property, etc. I think they could have saved some time and money, and made a much more pleasant sign by saying, “Welcome to Central Park – Be Nice!”
The playground was deserted when I arrived so I picked a spot under the shade of the gazebo at one of the picnic tables and pulled out my water bottle, journal, and phone (for the camera… I’m disconnecting for a bit). A family arrived… actually, what appears to be two families or maybe just a group of friends, and seven kids made their way to the playground. I love listening to other people’s conversations, especially kids! One little boy made it to the top of one of the structures probably not intended for climbing (harmless rule-breaking in my book) and looked rather proud. He then proceeded to pick his nose! Oh, kids!! There’s a lone runner making his way around the perimeter of the park, making me feel slightly guilty that I have not been running. I really want to start again, but this altitude makes it hard to breathe! It’s much easier to take a long, full breath at sea level. But my breathing won’t improve unless I put on my running shoes and start.
This must be the time of day people head out. Traffic has picked up and there are more kids, some arriving by car and some walking from the nearby houses. This reminds me of Park Days with one of our homeschool groups, where moms would relax and sit around talking while our kids would be kids. Those were fun days. I love seeing kids act like kids – running around like maniacs, climbing on everything, jumping, laughing, showing off for each other, and pretending they are all sorts of characters as they play. And then, if you’re lucky, they go home exhausted and sleep for a few hours!
It feels nice to be at the park. I live so close, yet I haven’t been over here since before Brian died. He liked walking to the park and that brings good memories too. I’m glad we had those walks and talks. The breeze has picked up and the air feels a tiny bit chillier. I’m going to head back home… lazily stroll back home. I’m happy today. I hope you are too, wherever you are, whatever you are doing.
Simply Saturday = Joy