Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Childhood Wonderland

I ducked down under the rusty barbed wire fence into the wild overgrowth. It was a different world than the one I lived. It was unpredictable and it was untamed. There was a rough trail through the overgrowth that I couldn't leave, much and all as I wanted to, because I was in shorts and there were nettles everywhere and I already had enough gashes on my legs. I walked along cautiously, my eyes darting around trying to take in all the surroundings that I knew so well but could never get enough of.

The sides of my shoes lit up every time I placed my foot to the solid ground. The light was red and I loved them.

Up ahead, I knew that there would be a small clearing. There was an entire old moldy living room set in that clearing. The couch had perhaps been a velvet maroon two-seater couch, but now all the insides poked through at the seams, and the maroon was stained a patchy black colour by the incessant rain. There was an armchair that matched the couch; it was missing arms though. Behind the couch lay, on it's side, a burned-out and rusted fridge. Empty and without barely any of the white paint that had once presumably covered it left. It's body was not without colour though, someone had covered it with spray paint.

When we went together, my sister always went first, ahead of me, but today I was alone, free to go at my own pace, free to wander along. I went there most days. I was young, innocent and full of adventure, and this was my palace.

I left the clearing and followed that path on further until the briars flattened out and the nettles receded, and I was wading through long grass, then that grew thinner and I was there, to that magical place.

It had at one point been a railway bridge, but they had taken up the tracks and it was more of a quarry-like hole now. There grew a 60ft high oak tree, bent and twisted down into the quarry. On one of the top branches was a rope that hung down onto which the local teenagers had tied a stick. It made a wonderful swing.

But then they tore the whole thing down and build a tram. Not that I don't think the tram is handy, but I really loved the swing and the memories.

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