Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Old Swing

My Grandpa Leo hung a rope swing from an old walnut tree in his yard when I was a little tyke. He hand-cut the wooden seat and extended the long ropes high up onto a large branch. Over the years I spent a lot of time swinging in that old tree. I would pump my legs back and forth going higher and higher until I could feel the point where the ropes would slacken slightly. It would scare me momentarily, but I knew I had reached the highest limits. That I had pushed myself and attained my own personal goal.

My home was a three hour drive from my grandparents, so my tree swinging was limited to our visits. My swing hung always ready for me to plop my behind down and start pumping my legs back and forth whenever I was available. I remember running to my swing as soon as my parent’s car stopped in the driveway when we arrived for a visit. And when my parents began packing up to leave, I always tried to get in one last swing, as if saying goodbye to my friends the swing and the walnut tree. My swing was always there for me whether I was happy or sad. When sad, I knew testing the limits of my swinging ability helped me out of my sorrowful, pitiful self. The fact is - it's hard to swing high into the tree limbs without invoking a smile or heartfelt giggle.

Recently, my husband, Dennis, and I were in Yakima, sharing time with my family. While there, we were able to visit my grandparents home where my cousin’s young family now resides. It had been over 25 years since I last walked into the home that holds many of my childhood memories. It was fun to see the renovations recently made to the old homestead. This home is now over 100 years old and has been lovingly updated by my cousin and his wife. If Grandma Mary and Grandpa Leo could see their old place now, they would agree it is well loved and is now preserved for future generations. It was a fun evening of good food, sharing memories, and sitting out under the old walnut tree.

Later, I got to thinking about the old swing in the walnut tree - a swing my sister, brother, and generations of cousins have enjoyed over the years. And now a new swing hangs ready for a new generation to share, to learn how to test their own limits, and help them move from sad to a heartfelt giggle.


Swing photo courtesy of Denis Dervisevic