Friday, November 21, 2008


Our town has fantastic dog parks but the kid parks are not so great. Maybe it's what comes of living in these old towns, where people own huge backyards with trees and space - the need for public swings and slides doesn't seem as pressing. With a few exceptions, the ones that are available to us are near major roads, unfenced, and are scattered with broken glass and discarded smokes from the local toughs' mad Friday night fun.

But up the road, in the area, someone has hitched a swing. A close to perfect swing: a plank on the end of some climbers' ropes, knotted to a high branch in the oak tree. It moves like the pendulum of a grandfather clock, back and forward slowly and serenely, with weight and purpose. The ground drops away so that even the tiniest movement propels a person out over the abyss.