Bounce, flip, soar, fly: repeat. Lightness of being, knowing my body in space, letting go, no fear – my parents bravery at gifting my brother and I the freedom to play.
The story goes that my grandmother, Tilly, bid and won the trampoline (after a few too many gin and tonics) at an auction. Realizing that she couldn’t possibly keep it, it landed at our house: 6891 Adera Street, Vancouver, B.C.
Orange square tarp held taught between brilliant blue aluminum springs and frame. A child’s dream. Was it a parents nightmare? It didn’t appear so. My mom crafted a protective barricade; purchasing strips of light green foam, strategically tying them at various intervals, surrounding the square frame so we wouldn’t ‘knock ourselves silly.’
My fondness for springboard diving and flipping through the air translated well aboard this new backyard toy. Swing sets and teeter totters were for the the faint of heart.
Countless hours were spent with my brother and friends: flying, soaring, double bouncing, bum dropping, flipping, making out….and sleepovers.
Epic sleepovers where my girlfriends and I would run from the back door, sleeping bags and pillows in hand, hurling ourselves on the trampoline before our Siberian Husky, Kaila, could grab ahold of the ankles of our pajama pants and tear them to shreds. Really, he was a kind and gentle dog, who happened to be overly exuberant about running after children, flapping loose legged wear, and the thrill of pursuit.
There’s nothing quite like hopping up and down in your sleeping bag on a trampoline: giggling, laughing, bumping into each other; finally slowing down, flopping onto the orange tarp, gazing up at the stars – pure delight.
Crisp cool air as the summer suns heat dissipates through the night. The emergence of twinkling stars flickering across the night sky like a work of art. The Universe painting the sky in pin prick strokes. Collectively our breathing slowed down, pulses landed at normal, thoughts quieted, and sleep beckoned.
There were a few ‘accidents’ in my teenage years. My expertise at double bouncing landed my younger brother face down on the summer grass, glasses firmly embedded just above his nose. A yell for Mom, a quick hospital trip, a few stitches, and we were back at it.
Hot summer days were spent weighting the trampoline with water from the garden hose; creating our own ‘slip and slide.’
I purchased a trampoline for my kids in February, 2007. It was delivered and assembled the day my Dad passed away. Last night, as I lay solo in my sleeping bag on our trampoline, my last conversation with him wove through my mind. “ShaSha, make sure they stay safe.”
Had my Dad’s heart softened with concern since I was young? I explained how this trampoline had an entire circular mesh fence surrounding it, making it impossible for anyone to fly over the edge.
He would have loved watching his grandchildren play and grow. As I watched the stars flicker and a few meteors zip through the dark night sky, I felt both he and my grandmother’s presence.
“Those whom we have loved never really leave us. They live on in our hearts, and cast their radiant light onto our every shadow.” Sylvana Rossetti