Layla and I drive to Potter Park. The radio has a show about animals. We pull into a parking space under a silver oak. I take my time getting out. 10 minutes ago I was g-chatting and typing and reading emails. Now we’re out here sweating. Layla grabs ‘baby.’ We walk to the playground. There’s nobody else here.
I sit on the mini-bulldozer that pivots and shakes on a spring. All above are long-needle pines and spanish moss. I get off the bulldozer and sit down. Layla gets on the bulldozer. I play with the pine needles. Layla comes over and plays with the pine needles. “See how they fall from the branches, the needles?” I say. I realize there’s a layer of brown needles beneath the green needles. I’ve never noticed it before. I feel like I could sit with her and be any age. Some other people are coming–a man, woman, and baby probably 1 year old. The man has a tattoo on his shoulder. They walk 50 feet from us but don’t look at us. Layla senses they’re not interested in us and doesn’t look back at them but knows they’re there.
We go over to the balance beam. She puts ‘baby’ up there. I pretend I’m surfing up there. Then we get on the tire swing. “Hold onto the chains,” I say. We swing and laugh. I think about tire swings. They seem ‘innately good.’ I think about us having one on our land down in Patagonia. We need to plant some trees.