By: Claire Christie

The place many memories were made, where laughs echo throughout the woods. Splashes into the water below can still be heard and felt on a hot summer’s day. The rope that hangs, worn and weathered from young hands, gripping it tightly. The wooden seat split in half many summers ago but still lays on the ground at the base of the nearby willow. Our names carved in the trunk, deep rivets proclaiming a time when my yellow polka dot bikini fit. When boys had cooties but if you got the cootie shot you could hold his hand for just a little while. The BFF and plus sign were added a little later. This time when innocence was as common wrapping us in happiness and friendship. And when this spot had become our place, to sit and laugh together; our world spinning out of control just a woods trail and backyard away. But when we were there we could go back to playing Indians or talking about rec. soccer, or build a fort from the brambles of the berry bushes. Where we could just talk and know that we would always be there for each other.

I miss our imaginary games. I miss our giggling and belly laughing together. The summer slumber parties and midnight snacks. I miss it all and you. I miss soccer practice and I miss acting like a tree.

Sometimes I walk down that path of growing up. I walk alone and come out of the brush into another world. Our place. The tree swing drifting in the autumn wind swirling around me. Grasping at the swing I climb onto the worn old rope and rest my head against the smooth intertwined surface. Smiling because even though time may pass and we may grow apart, I will forever know that this, this place of memories, will be forever our place.