"There is a lawn mower in my chest", he thought, as his breaths came in ragged gasps. He slowed his run to a walk, propped himself up on the nearest tree and sank to the ground. Shoulders heaving, he fought to regain control of his breathing. His eyes darted over the landscape.
Funny how he never stopped to look at it before, he mused. It was a pretty place in autumn. The artificial lake glimmering like diamonds in the early morning light, the leaves with their many shades of gold and red, not yet discarded but still guarding the skeletons of their owners with an air of protectiveness. The smell of damp earth reached him and he wondered why he always thought of it as edible. A warm, delicious smell, it curled in his nostrils and he thought immediately of his childhood days- of sailing paper boats through the rivulets transformed into vast oceans and raging rivers by his imagination. He smiled crookedly.
His breath was coming in easier now, the fierce pounding was subsiding, relieving him of his fears. "Guess I was just overdoing it", he mumbled to himself. His strength had returned, but he realized that he loathed the idea of abandoning where he was at that moment. It was just so peaceful under that tree, all the memories that visited were happy and from far away and long ago. He feared they would disappear if he were to move from that spot, so there he sat. He let them wash over him, and he briefly thought how strange he must look to passers-by, laughing out loudly at times to himself. He found that he really didn't care. As the memories waved goodbye, some with soft kisses on the breeze as they left, he sombered. "I've had a good life", he thought.
The present felt heavy and a little sad...and just as he was about to really start feeling really sorry for himself, a voice full of all the vitality of youth rang out, "What are you doing loitering under that tree, old man?". She was jogging in place and obviously enjoying poking fun at him. "Now is that any way to talk to your father?", he countered, amused by the exchange. Suddenly he no longer felt sad, watching her bounce up and down with her hand outstretched, he thought, "I have a good life"."Come on Daddy" she said, "We'll do this last bit together." And they did.