Day Eight: Death to Adverbs Today’s Prompt: Go to a local café, park, or public place and write a piece inspired by something you see. Get detailed: leave no nuance behind. Today’s twist: write an adverb-free post.
Here I sit, in the park behind my house. I don’t have a garden at home, and so the park has become my outdoor retreat. I often sit here to catch the last rays of sun; to people gaze, to study or to read a book. Today I am here to write.
As I sit, cross legged on my blanket, my eyes are first drawn to a family of Asian origin – a young couple and their toddler, who teeters on her feet, her tiny arms poised high like a tight-rope walker. She wears short denim dungarees and a crisp white sun hat. Her chubby, inquisitive legs are dotted at the ends by a pair of frilly, white ankle socks and teal strapped sandals. Her feet patter this way and that and before long, she spots a stray piece of paper fluttering in the grass. She waddles over and crouches to catch it as the wind sweeps it up and away from her reach. She follows a little before flopping onto her bottom, distracted by a new allurement in the grass.
The curious little wanderer continues to explore as Dad watches from his seat on a nearby bench. His hair is full and thick as it dances in the breeze. Mum is lolled across the tire swing and is rocking to and fro, her limbs draped over the sides in a rag-doll fashion. I am in complete awe of her; her relaxed state of being; her complete trust in her partner, who watches over their baby girl; her ability to just be. She does not fuss or stir, she doesn’t rise to instruct or to check that everything is in order – she simply sways, her youthful face cast to the sky. What is she thinking? Does she dream of her homeland and relatives afar? Does she wish to be transported to that vibrant place? Or is she just stealing a moment to herself whilst she can? Something in her manner tells me that whatever she is doing, she seeks nothing more than this moment. Wherever her mind wanders, she is already home.
She remains in her serene state, even as two Staffordshire Terriers begin to bark, bolting toward a group of girls who are pic-nicking nearby. The adult dog bulges and swells with muscle and the pup, who is equally sturdy despite her smaller frame, boasts a beautiful blue-grey coat. The young boy clutching at the reigns doesn’t stand a chance and he is forced to dig his heels into the grass as though competing in a tug of war. He leans back so far that he is practically horizontal and he slides to the floor in his struggle. I can’t help but chuckle as the power hounds drag him along on his bottom, tugging and yanking until they eventually reach the girls, who are squealing and disbanding with haste. The jumpy duo find this even more thrilling as they lick and pounce and chase. The boy’s mum is heavy with child and has been lumbering her way over. She takes charge of the reigns and within moments, all is calm again. The teenage girls begin to drift and edge their way back to their blanket, reforming like tidewater.
I return my gaze to the young family and smile. The little girl has discovered her sleepy mummy on the swing and she reaches up, making a clutching motion with her tiny fingers and hands. Daddy saunters over, lifting her onto the tire swing as mum wraps her arms around her daughter, holding her baby close to her chest. It is here that I remain, gazing at their love, watching as Dad pushes his small family on the swing. And as I watch, it is as if time is standing completely still.