STORY #44.

It’s been a wet and miserable winter but now, at last, the sky is clearing and a peak of blue is showing through the thinning clouds. The children are moaning and restless and so too am I. At the end of our street is a small house block size playground, so we venture out. Before you know it the kids have dismounted their wild ponies and running around to find their favourite play equipment. I earn my weeks exercise helping them reach that elusive sky on the swings. A large butterfly flutters away with the noisy arrival of our neighbour's children. The air is clean and clear now and the wind that refused to dissipate has become a gentle breeze softly moving the few leaves left on the trees. The only bench here is full of parents having a quiet moment together. Birds flitter in and out of the branches and that big butterfly has returned to joyful screams as it lands on my son's head. The first casualty hits the park floor, the slide is the culprit, but within moments she’s back up to have another go. One child is balancing on a metre high sandstone wall and I stop myself from clambering to his aid, soon after a file of 4 ish. Yr olds follow his lead. “Look at me mum” yell the chorus as they each jump down like superheroes. I have to look away. It’s non stop play now with uncontrolled laughter, with children chasing each other around the play equipment. A toddler has found a large muddy puddle it’s just too good to pass up and plonks himself right in the middle, oh joyful innocence. The local mut thinks that looks like fun and bolts into the mush too, knocking the child on his back, he gets up and laughs and laughs and so does everyone else. Now the child has broken free of his muddy nappy and is doing a nudie run, his mother chases after him and so does the mut. The local neighbourhood park, who would have thought it could be so much fun. Just hanging around doing nothing, talking about everything or just silly talk, imagining wonderful things, simple pleasures. Being with friends is everything. As we remount our wild ponies for home two little girls present me with a dandelion chain “it’s a gold crown” says one, how gorgeous. Ahh, I’m ready for a cuppa, giddyup!

Mary, Sydney

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