Sitting on the swings with my best friend next to me at Deanza Park, hair undone, giggling as we pass each other, a vibrant blue sky and the familiar park around me, memories swirling from youth, from swingsets past and teeter-totters and playing in the sand and lying in the grass, from falling off the swings to running on the wheel to playing Tickle Monster on the metal slide.
My iPod is on Shuffle for once, and yet manages to read my mind, playing mellow, sweet music as I fly up, and swoop down, holding my arms straight out and tilting my head back, closing my eyes and mouthing the words to my favorite songs. For the first time in my life, I think: I could die right now and be happy. My stomach no longer hurts, my mind is free of emotional restraints, and I am content. I am free. And, forgive the cliche, but I am alive.