by: Rebecca Taylor

           Children raced around a garden path, laughing and chasing a puppy.

            “I don’t know who will tire out first,” said the children’s grandfather sitting on a wood and cast-iron bench on a beautiful sunny spring day.

            “I don’t know,” answered his wife Melody, “but I sure do enjoy watching them. They’re happy and energetic. Do you remember when we were children, Tom, and our parents used to bring us to this same park? In those days, we didn’t know that we’d be together for over fifty years and have children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.”

            “How could I forget meeting my wife?”

            “This is a nice,” chimed in Tom and Melody’s daughter Katie, “Having our family together like this. The young cousins getting to play together; and everyone catching up on the news and just being together.”

            “Look at Sara, her and Rick are so in love,” said Melody motioning towards her twenty‑two year old granddaughter who had brought her boyfriend to the family get-together.”

            “That was us, some time ago,” said Tom. “We met here, courted here, and I proposed here. This place never changes, well, maybe the trees get taller but other than that it’s just as I remember it back then.”

            “The place might not have changed, but I sure have,” answered Melody laughing.

            “Wouldn’t be fair to the next generation if you and I didn’t age a little,” said Tom holding his wife’s hand. He smiled when he thought of the wrinkles on his and his wife’s hands and the bench’s weathered finish. They had a lot in common.

            “I’m glad the town found the money to keep the park open instead of selling the land and it becoming an apartment complex or a bunch of touristy shops,” replied Melody.

            “Me too,” answered Tom, “I can’t imagine it not being here. It just always has been. It’s like an anchor, even when times got rough or we got over busy, we still came here and enjoyed the sound of the children playing and young couples dating and the birds singing.”

            “And now our clan has grown and is enjoying the same things. Our love for this place has made our family love it and that means we’ve come full circle. This is one of my most favourite places on earth,” said Melody.

            “Mine too,” answered Tom, “although for me, that would be anywhere if I could be with you.”