On the last full day in Portland, our class went to Mt. Tabor to learn about trees.
We got there early, and the first thing that caught everyone’s eye was the playground. I ran down the hill to meet Julia at the teeter-totter. We were both delighted like five-year-olds as we traveled up and down. Now that I think about it, Julia and I acted like five-year-olds for most of the trip. Belting out Katy Perry and Lady Gaga in the car, laughing at pointless jokes or making ourselves socially awkward for the Cascadia Middle School. I actually think I becom less and less mature as I get older.
Anyway, after about 30 seconds of that, the real attraction caught my eye. The round spin table, or as I dubbed it, the Spinnymajig. People were crowding to it like bees to a hive. Quickly I jumped off the teeter-totter, leaving Julia on the ground, and raced over to join my classmates in a need to spin rapidly around in circles.
After a few spins, even Mike couldn’t resist the Spinnymajig’s calling. He too, joined us in a quest for dizziness. Suddenly, we were all five year olds, laughing wildly at something that should make you barf. Perhaps we were losing our grip on reality, perhaps we lost our judgment, or more likely, we were acting very, very immature.
The boys were dragging their feet on the ground The girls kicked their legs behind them, gawking at the illusion of a strong wind that pulled back your feet and made them touch the person behind you. We all got a bit sick once or twice, and had to jump off and steady the ground that tilted side to side, but always left a faint image of itself in it’s rightful angle. But we couldn’t stay off for long, as soon our eyes were adjusted we’d hop back on and enjoy dizziness some more.
Then Mike had to allow the younger children their playground back. We were forced to walk away from our new friend. With in a minute we were desperately trying to organize a game of Sharks and Minnows. We were failing, and many turned to climbing trees. We all wanted the same thing the Spinnymajig.
After a few, argument filled, games of Sharks and Minnows, our instructor, Bob arrived. We were relieved of our boredom.
We took a long walk through Mt. Tabor neighborhoods, learning about bio swale, green roofs, the importance of trees and what we can do to help the Grey to Green program, we returned to the playground. Some wasted no time and jumped onto the
Spinnymajig, others had a drink of water first. But no matter which group you belonged to, we had to get off. Finally, after a few conversations, were on our way to the hostel.
Somewhere on Mt. Tabor, a playground rests at night. It is exhausted, but one structure more than the others, it has been exercised beyond it’s will, it is the Spinnymajig.