We’re at the park that I built across from our house http://www.dailydad.net/2013/find-the-unexpected-playgrounds-in-your-life/
She approaches me slowly and notices that I’m having a quiet moment. I’m at the picnic table under the canopy, beside the jungle gym, over from the trampoline.
It’s a moment of calm that I like to have in the mornings. She has a little child with her, a girl.
‘Excuse me sir,’ she says, and I look up and we smile at each other and that’s about all that’s needed.
I don’t need to say a word. She knows that she and the child are welcome to come back in a few minutes.
And when she does, the little girl can laugh and play and let her spirit free, watched only by the security guard in the blue and red uniform, and the woman sitting on the rock, reading an open book: both statues that, naturally, don’t have a lot to say and give the place a certain peace.
Indeed a park can be a holy place. I easily remember the one that I used to ride my bike to, the one not far away from my own childhood home, a place of memories and firsts including the first time I kissed a girl.
In some countries those sorts of parks have been replaced with sanitized and rubberized versions of so-called open spaces that are more suited for today’s bubble-wrapped kids.
But this is not our park in Africa. Our park in Africa is where, like in my memories, you may get the odd bruise … and experience something holy in that too.