Today, I had to take two of my siblings to a park to play. A park – in the middle of the desert? Green grass, trees, shade, playground and swing, full of kids having fun? In the desert? I went, and it was pathetic. Little less than an acre, a few trees, a set of swings and a slide with accompanying monkey-bars. Fun? No.
So, as I sat on the swings, watching my two siblings try and have fun, I remembered the wonderfully large and fun park near college. My roomies and I would go there barefooted and release our inner-child. No such luck here. I moved to the picnic table under the shade and opened my book. My eyes never focused on the pages.
My two siblings were doing tricks on the monkey-bars. I looked at the trees, most too limpy or too high to climb. Then, I saw one. With the first spot to climb at 6 feet, it would be tricky, especially with that rough texture of bark, especially in flip-flops. But, then again, as a child, I was an expert at climbing trees. I went over and grabbed on to the lowest branch, standing on my toes to reach it. I jumped, reached higher, and jumped again, climbing up as if I were on a coconut tree. Once I got settled, I relaxed. This was more like it. I love being in trees – up high, wind blowing, becoming one with nature.
My siblings came over to where I was sitting and couldn’t see me. I watched them with a smile as they tried to look around for me. I took off a flip-flop and through it toward them. They saw it land and looked over to the trees, expecting me to pop out from behind one. They still couldn’t see me. I through the other one, now balancing on the tree barefooted. It hit my sister, she went over to where it was thrown, still looking at the ground level. My brother, however, caught on and saw me. Finally, my sister saw me too.
I laughed. Unwittingly, I had started a game of hide-and-seek, long ago unfinished. As a 12 year old, I hid in a tree with fall leaves, while wearing a maroon and gold shirt (my jr. high colors) and was never found during hide and seek. Now, with a hint, I was finally found in a green tree, while wearing a green shirt. I started to have fun. My brother climbed up. I helped my sister up.
But, as I got down, I was terribly scratched and pierced by numerous splinters. Hide and seek was over.