Memories of the Playground – Monkey Bars, Swings & Jungle Gyms

Nothing in this life can ever come close to the innocence and carefree childhood.

It is as children that we learn our deepest, truest values, that we carry forward through adulthood and beyond.

The playground, the focal point of all childhood merriment and mirth, where tears of joy run rampant down smiling faces, coated with dirt as a result of pairs of happy feet running rampant across the sands.

The Monkey Bars

The monkey bars. At a young age, monkey bars were a nothing more than a maniacal form of torture, devised by some devious, cold-hearted, evil drill sergeant. The bars were always too high off the ground, much too high for the small, short legs of youth. I could never make it past the second wrung, with a running head start. My small arms were too weak to support my weight, that high up off the ground. One was always envious of the older kids that could travel from end to end, without faltering in the middle, and without the support of a parent, or more easily accessible, a friend on who’s shoulders one could stand.

Today, I actively seek the monkey-bars, and enjoy them more than ever, finally seeing them for the wondrous exercise machines they are, for pull ups or upside-down sit-ups.

A different joy is experienced now, with my legs bent at the knees, too long for the height it was made, attempting to recapture a lost memory.

The Kingdom of the Jungle Gym

The Jungle Gym, another wonderful structure on the playground, where many a game of king-of-the-fort were played, whether you chose to climb up through the inside, crawling your way towards the center, or from the outside, and balance atop the minaret-like top. Many a bruise were acquired on the unforgiving metal, but they were marks of pride, easily overshadowed by the smiles, the cries of pain unheard amidst the raucous laughter of enjoyment.

Today, I sit atop the jungle gym and survey the surrounding grounds,  surprised at how easy the task of climbing there proved to be. My shoulders are too wide to fit amidst the small squares, I lament in my solitude, a King over a kingdom I cannot enter.

Now the thought that keeps me going is the thought of passing this fun to my future children, god willing.

Soaring to New Heights

The Swings, always crowded, and the only place where the loudest laughter resonates.

Nothing can ever come close to the intense thrill of reaching new heights, of throwing your feet before you to climb higher, and higher, faster, and faster; the feeling of emptiness clutching your stomach as you soar to new heights. Throwing your head back, albeit dangerous, always served to make the swing more exhilerating.

Today, time at the swings is spent with knees bent, our long legs serving as deterrents, always preventing the swing from picking up speed.

As children, we experienced a world different than the one we live in currently, where imagination ran wild, and nerves were made of steel. I remember climbing a rocket like structure, maybe 4~6M in height, sitting atop it, surveying the playground, and climbing back down, without a hint of vertigo or fear of falling.

It is that spirit that we miss this day in age, that inquisitive nature, that friendly demeanor, that makes one long and yearn for days long gone, when life was simple, and decisions were easy.

I can no longer find playgrounds nowadays, the laughter of children has been drowned out by the screeching tires of speeding cars and angry horns of impatient drivers, no parent would dare leave their child to venture out alone, despite how they used to do the same as children, for fear of what could happen.

Children now sit at home, fingers smashing away at game controllers, glazed eyes staring into a screen, zombie like in their activities. The sense of adventure quelled by the comfort of the couch.

The memories remain, a distant thought from a time past, that serve to bring a smile to this aging face, with a sense of adventure that can not be quelled.

Live life as though a child, forgive easily, love freely, laugh loudly and run fast. Enjoy, think not and worry not what others think, for in the great scheme of things, their opinions are but a moot point, their approval or disapproval is inconsequential, for in the end, it is your life to live as you see fit.

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