I grew up on an island, on the beach at the end of the trail. Our front yard was the beach and the back yard the woods.
I was a wild child. One might almost say “feral”.My parents were loving, in their way. They were very young and caught up in the challenges of life. My dad was working a regular job, moonlighting, going to school and building the house we lived in. My mom was trying to be hip, having other children then suffering from depression, which became progressively deeper.
Even as we lived there things changed. The large big leaf maple had to be cut down because time and tide ate away the soil at its roots and it started to pry the foundation of the house out of the ground. Dad made enormous progress and the addition was twice the size of the original cabin. My parents marriage broke up and the house was never finished and eventually sold.
There were good times, mostly alone, playing in the woods and on the beach and I have been working to try and reclaim that joy.
The beach is still there. The woods are still there. The house is still there, although it looks pretty posh now. The trail is still there, although it has been rerouted over the years due to mud slides.
A few years ago I walked down the trail again. When I started I planned to be bold and knock on the door to ask if I could see what things looked like. When I came to the gate that marked where the county trail ended and private began, I looked at the gate, hesitated, then turned away.
You can never really go back.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Ode to a Playground.”