Well, I've decided to launch a new blog. This time, I'm going to use Blogger as my platform of choice? Why? Google is taking over the world, aren't they? Well, yes, but I don't want to fight that fight with my blogging software; I have many more important things to do.
Tonight, I decided to spend some "me time" at Lion's Park in Urbandale.
Honestly, I didn't plan on venturing out to Lion's Park; I was on my way to the Urbandale Library, intent on finishing my first "heavy" book of the summer, "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins. As I drove by the Starbucks near Merle Hay Mall, my suburban instincts called out to me, the green glow beckoned and the taste of coffee was on my lips. I ordered a chai over ice, which is a deviation from my usual Cafe Mocha. Then, I realized . . . I couldn't go to the Urbandale Library with my drink. So, where to? After driving around for a while, I settled on Lion's Park.
Lion's Park is a place of great significance to almost anyone who has grown up in Urbandale . . . the 4th of July parade, hanging out after school, the playground, random tennis matches, getting sick on the merry-go-round (which, sadly, has been removed) and that handicapped swing which you weren't supposed to play on, but which nonetheless made a very compelling pirate ship . . . everyone has their own memory of this place.
I sat down to read my book on a park bench, the laughter of children to the south and the sound of a community band playing swing music in the west and started to devour the pages of my book. One chapter away from my goal, I took a moment to look around. I saw children and their parents playing on the swing set. I put down my book and ventured over.
When I was younger, one of my favorite memories of the playground was the swings. I could swing for hours and hours . . . and I did just that. It's amazing what a sense of enjoyment sitting at the bottom of what is nothing more than a pendulum can provide. I stared up at the moon and thought about how funny it was that I once believed that the thing was made of green cheese . . . when it wasn't really green to begin with. Watching the moon bob up and down over the tree at the other end of the playground was most amusing. I let all of the stresses of life go . . . work, money, women, family, future academic plans . . . I can honestly say that I spent a while hour without worrying about a thing. Tonight, I discovered a new level of inner peace and I left the playground a better person.
That said, take some time this week to hop on a swing. You'll be glad you did.