Friday, March 14, 2014

I Remember It As A Safe Place

I remember it as a safe place.  Now there are probably high barbed wire fences and bright yellow signs screaming “Danger keep out, Peligroso!”  A trip to Chatsworth Park meant hours of adventure when I was a child.  Minutes from our house it was an escape to a different world. 

Everything slants upward from the parking lot.  To the left there is a baseball field.  Above the parking lot is a large expanse of green grass with a picnic area; we cared for none of that.  With friends or family we ran to the rock hills beyond the grass and climbed upward.

We scramble up and up and never take the same path twice.  Though eager to scramble as everybody else, I rarely leap over large chasms but prefer to find alternatives.  It’s a chance to face internal monsters but still be brave.  External monsters may be out there too!  It is one of my early encounters with adventure.  I am usually last in line.  Being last gives opportunity to linger.  I am thrilled to discover various pools of water where earlier rains have filled earth and rock.  Scuttling quickly I would have missed it.  Don’t know if being last means slowness or reluctance to follow. 

I’m a kid which makes it feel like we go up and up for hours.  The rocks must be miles high!  A railroad track leads through a tunnel atop the rocks.  A coin souvenir is obtained by placing penny or nickel on the rail and waiting for the train to flatten it.  I know other kids that go inside the tunnel.  We never do.  This is why I suspect fences.  In those days there wasn’t the need for fences.

There was a time when life was a safer place with fewer fences.  Now I’m old and grown up.  I’m certain now that I like being last or alone out of a reluctance to follow.  Last night I looked up at the night sky; the world is still a big place full of wonder.  The adventure awaits.  It’s still about facing down the monster within and the smaller beasts outside.  Some things never change.

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