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  • I walk through a park somedays between clients homes and often I have noticed an older woman there.

    She is always bent over, walking slowly and painfully towards the swings. As she pulls herself onto the seat, she transforms into something childlike, something innocent and naive. She doesn't seem to care what other adults in the park might think of her or indeed notice them at all. She is oblivious, sublimely absent of care.

    I have often wondered where that portal takes her. To memories of siblings playing on a sunny day, a blissful isolation away from lifes troubles, a triste between lovers? I looked for her secret.

    This morning, I decided to take the forty minute walk into work and chose the route past the old church. The playground was once part of this beautiful Norman relic. Headstones and crypts dot the ground fitting conspicuously next to slides, hobby horses and the sand pit.

    As I arrived, I found it deserted. My eyes settled on the swings, still and lifeless. I thought of this woman, who plays at an age when playing (alone) can be considered odd, even dangerous.

    The swings invited me to play, and without hesitation, I accepted.

    As I sat down, 'The Eternal' by Joy Division swam through my headphones filling my body with that pulse. I began the ryhthmic kick and lean kick and lean until I flew above the green. The tree tops greeted me, the birds celebrated my entry into their universe, the sky embraced me like never before. The gentle breeze whipped my hair into a halo around my head, and the heavy sunlight poured like treacle over all before me. The air filled my body with energy and light and I felt whole.

    Looking about me taking in the colours, shapes, movement of all the life around, I felt part of it.
    All of it.
    The trees. The birds. The light. The pulse. The unnamed love I felt on that swing.
    I belonged.
    To everything.

    Her gift to me was to let me into her secret.

    We are all eternal.
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