Slide

Most walks are not memorably mentionable. The picturesque views of the local park change with the weather throughout the year, as does the temperate comfort. Some birds are regulars, blending in to the expected scenery and sounds, barely noticeable outside my thoughts. Eastern Rosella’s add seasonal Spring delight with a welcoming site of colourful plumed characters that squawk-murmur amongst themselves. The park is typical of any rural locality, with tree lined grounds of well-kept deeply coloured grass surrounding a locally revered cricket oval, complete with white picket fence boundary. To the side of the carpark stands a small area of well battered sun faded play equipment. Signage of no dogs allowed adorn the picnic tabled chairs. It’s a place where as each day changes, they all blend to be the same.

A while ago I passed through the park, beagle slightly to the front of my side, pulling the lead hard as she chased scents of previous pedestrian visitors.

My expected normality though was breached by a man of stark white hair offset by dark rimmed glasses complimenting a neat buttoned down collared shirt with jeans that contrast against his seat on top of a slippery-dip; a solid steel slide welded to metal pipes, likely set in concrete fifty years earlier.

His position far from precarious only a few feet from the ground had the motions of a child as his legs swayed effortlessly back and forth, his eyes lost in a vision only he could see.

My concern for welfare soon passed as on noticing my approach he gave a mischievous smile imaging the same one he’d likely held there many years before when playing as a child. A depth of memories enlightened his face, fuelled by the timeless sensations of a place that stowed childhood carefree frivolity.

A smile, a nod, a glimmer of recognition between strangers of all that once was of childhood commonalities in a place of play.

Beyond the curve of the oval I turned for a final glance, he deep in thought again, legs swinging freely atop of the slide.

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