Saturday, March 24, 2007

Perspectives in the Park

Yesterday afternoon I went to meet a friend, a film maker who is here from Toronto. As I waited for her to emerge from the building, I went into a nearby park. There were children on the roundabout and on the swings, with adults pushing them. I wanted to go on the roundabout but felt it would be better to do so when it was empty.

Instead, I went and sat on one of the swings and began swinging. The teenage girl on the swing next to me gave me a quizzical aren't-you-too-big-to-be-swinging stare (even though she was pratically my size) and then turned away. I continued swinging as I waited, observing the birds and people in the park.

A man with grey hair was bouncing on a four-pronged see-sawish contraption with three children. He was laughing and obviously having as good a time as they were. It looked like great fun. As soon as she saw him, a teenage girl near a bench called out to the one next to me and a few other females around: "Allyuh look de old man! Look de old man!" ... as though he was a freak in a circus. They then started laughing ... not with him, but at him.

The 'old man' soon after got off the contraption and was spinning children on the mery-go-round. He was running and spinning and laughing, very fit for his age. Maybe he was about 65? I thought it was great to see someone so 'old' having such fun and looking so happy. Why must one lose the ability to enjoy the things of childhood just because you've crossed 18? To some people (like those teenage girls who didn't look anywhere near as happy as he did and were so busy texting on their cellular phones), he probably looked crazy or retarded.



Anonymous Kelly said...

So timely it is that I read this observation of yours in the park. I've been talking to my friend about perceptions. My conclusion is that when you are busy being alive and having fun, you forget to worry what others think. Sounds like that man learned this long ago.

8:30 AM  
Blogger Elspeth said...


5:50 AM  
Blogger GoGo said...

I hear you. I don't understand why we can't play as adults. I go sledding in the snow every winter, ride my bike down fast hills with an air of excitement, and look forward to the bellyflop feeling when I hit a bump.

Here's to always playing, and learning more games as we age.

1:43 PM  
Blogger Elspeth said...


2:27 PM  

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