The instructions for the final interview question were simple: “Write a paragraph (or two) describing this picture.”
What a joyous site I beheld at the park on Saturday: Spring has finally sprung as families, friends—furry and otherwise—rejoiced in the splendour of the first truly wonderful day of the year. My eyes were overly stimulated and couldn’t quite focus, toggling upward from the lovers rowing in the lagoon to the adventurous man climbing the suddenly leafy tree. Down—and then up again—my gaze went as I followed the girl in the swing as she climbed ever higher, all the while her friends rushed to be next to fly. (Her little brother, shrieking with a ferocity and suddenness that defied explanation, did not share in her boundless joy.)
Elsewhere the cycles of life were on full display: Mother pushing baby in the stroller; spindly teenager overwhelmed by a dog fixated on a football booted back-and-forth between two life-long friends; and an elderly grandma enjoying the dawn of yet another season as she soaks in the sunlight with her daughter and grandson. As I take in this slice of paradise (a perfectly planned park in the city centre) as its next visitors arrive by public transport, a cool sensation brings me back to my stark reality—and one hopeful wish: the melting ice cream cone gets my son to smile again.