The Swing poem

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The Swing by Robert Louis Stevenson was one of my Mom’s favorite poems and one of mine too. As soon the recess bell rang, I’d make a beeline for my first choice: the swings. If they were full, I’d try to join in either jump rope or hopscotch.

Eleven years ago my husband and I (now empty nesters) moved into a new home. For eleven years, our patio sat empty. Other decisions occupied my mind, plus I couldn’t decide what to put on the deck patio. Then it came to me — a porch swing would be the perfect piece of furniture. A porch swing like the one my grandmother had on her porch years ago when I was a little girl.

My sister and I would sit on either side of Grandma and swing and swing and swing. We’d talk to Grandma about anything and everything. There were no limits or taboo subjects. We felt completely at ease in sharing whatever our young hearts desired. We’d tell each other secrets about a recent girlfriend misunderstanding or about a crush on Michael, the new kid in school. Sometimes, our heart ached because we were always chosen last and didn’t make a particular team. If we had a mean teacher at school or a particular class was too tough for us — Grandma would surely hear all about it.

Recently, my grandchildren came to visit. We sat on my new porch swing and pumped our legs back and forth in order to keep the swing moving. I shared with them that I used to do the same thing with my Grandma.

During the day, we watched a Mommy Robin feed her starving baby robins. She’d built a nest right under the deck in perfect view of the swing. In the evening, we tried to count fireflies and wished upon the first star in the northern sky.

I’m hoping to build some of those same fond memories I have of my Grandma into my own grandchildren. What better way than to start with a swing … a swing that goes high up in the air so blue. Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing ever a child (and a child-at-heart) can do!

Is there someone in your life now whom you feel totally at ease with? Someone to share your deepest joys and heartaches?

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