Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Swinging Away

Tourges' Girls Porch Swing

I can’t remember a time in my life when we didn’t have a swing, and I don't intend for that to change. My childhood is filled with memories of my grandmother, mother, daddy, aunt, sisters and children spending hours enjoying this peaceful time together. It is just what we do in the south, and there is little chance of that changing.

My sisters and I retired a few swings, some due to the abuse only children can impose, and others due to old age. I can remember swings hanging from the ceiling of the porch surrounding my granny's Victorian home, the screened- in- porch at our home, the old rusty gym set in the backyard, and my mother’s beautifully built “garden swing,” which I called "God's Place."

Our garden was a wonderful place to be, regardless of the weather, and my parents spent their retirement years enjoying the fresh air there. I miss seeing them as they swung, working out the good and bad times of each day, week, month and year. I remember the many expressions on their faces as I affectionately watched them from inside -- their mannerisms telling much of the content of their converse. Their smiles were so full of love and happiness.

That beautiful garden, the home of our swing, was landscaped and planted by my mother and had an abundance of fragrant flowers. I believe that my love for the garden began there. The scent of the grass and flowers during different seasons was intoxicating, and the smell of the sun as it warmed the skin was therapeutic. The insects and animals shared graciously their abode, appearing happy that we were there, while at the same time keeping their distance.

I remember the rain tapping the roof of my mama’s swing as it carried the earth's vapors --bathing everything below. The harbor she built around this swing provided protection from the elements, making it even more inviting. There was no rest for that swing, and it still hangs proudly.

During my lifetime I have cried, smiled, studied and read in swings -- clearing my mind and adding more to it. Joey, Angela and I have spent many hours just talking about things that may seem trivial to some, but important to them and to me. I wouldn’t take anything for those memories, and I hope that Joey and Angela feel the same way.

I do intend spending the rest of my life wearing out these legs in this contraption made from wood or steel, and I hope that I will have a loved one next to me -- child, grandchild or friend. I still have a lot of stories to tell, time to listen, problems to work out, and hopefully a few free moments for myself.

Here’s to you Eight O’Clock and to the grand old swing!

Have a great day!

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