It is one of those days that one would usually describe as a ‘perfect Summer’s day’. The grass is a lush green, here in the park, and daisies spread their petals to soak up as much as they can of the golden light that cascades down from the clear, blue sky above. The trees, with their green and crimson leaves, sway in the gentle, cool breeze. The fountain shoots water five-feet into the air, only for it to crash down as gravity takes its toll, and countless insects go about their business as ingrained in their genetic make-up. A perfect day indeed.
Days such as today bring people out of their homes, also eager to soak up the rays in a bizarre form of photosynthesis. There is a workman carrying out landscaping duties, the monotonous hum of his strimmer strangely hypnotic when clashing with the rattle of traffic and the falling water of the fountain. Two teenaged boys play tennis on the adjacent courts, and numerous housewives walk past the park’s gates, with their bags of shopping carrying all the ingredients needed for that evening’s family dinner.
Behind me, in the fenced-off play area, young mothers watch as their children make castles out of sand, kick their legs in order to swing as high as they can, and argue over who is next to descend a slide that glistens metallically under the glow of the Sun. The kids smile broadly, their sense of fun and wonder translating into unadulterated happiness. In turn, their mothers smile also, a different kind of happiness on show.
The mothers look happy indeed, and it’s hard not to, as a single person, feel a little jealous of what they have. Rings adorn their fingers, indicating a husband hard at work; the children wear good clothes, indicating a level of financial comfort; they no doubt have a good home to return to in this distinctly middle-class town. They have what I realise I’ve wanted for a long time; a family to call my own, and the stability that comes with it.
However, as quickly as they appeared, the smiles fade. Grey clouds loom overhead, threatening to cover the park with a downpour that not only dampens the grass and the trees and the life, but spirits also. How much of their smiles is genuine, I ask myself. How much do I really want what they have? The house, the cars, the clothes and all else; how much of it is for show, bought with credit, or got simply because that’s what is normal or expected? The mothers appear as wistful as they are happy; their chance at a free life of adventure and exploration and self-discovery gone the moment they committed to be with their high-school sweethearts ‘til death. Struggling under the weight of so many burdens they now carry at such a young age, prematurely in every sense of the word.
And so I sit here, on the eve of my twenty-ninth birthday, questioning whether all that is truly what I want or not. I know that fatherhood is something I do long for, and believe I am suited for; as I also long for the stability and security such a life brings.
But not yet.
I have a life to continue living at the moment; learning and growing as a person in the process. Prematurely accepting such a life as those mothers’ would be wrong, for I am not yet mature enough for it.
My day will come, but that day is not this one; this perfect Summer’s day of sitting on a bench and glimpsing my future in others.
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- artisticveins said: This is really lovely <3
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