Many years ago, there was a song that came out by John Anderson by the name, “Just a Swingin” my dad loved that song. I’ll admit that I not only liked that song, but many that were done by John Anderson. I enjoyed his voice and choice of material. I have several swings around my house, and one missing.
I have a swing, missing its canopy in my front yard where my flowers that remain grow. There is a small table and chairs there as well. I don’t spend a lot of time up there because its too close to the neighbors and much less private. I have a glider which had belonged to my grandmother on my front porch. It had suffered years of neglect but last summer I rescued it and a chair from my yard restoring both. Out back another canopy swing and a large wooden frame for a long missing swing.
Last summer I took to sitting out on the swing behind the house. During the day, I would sit out there are read. Later in the afternoon or evening, I would light a fire in the small store bought fire pit. Both time periods brought moments of peace. Out back, is very quiet, peaceful, calm. Out back on that swing, is contentment. The afternoons of reading allowed me to feed my brain and inspire my spirit to keep moving forward into the new adventures I was facing being unemployed. It gave me time to read when I wasn’t exhausted and barely comprehending the words on the page.
The evenings though, when the sunlight began to fade, the woodland orchestra began to warm up for their performance. Striking a match to put flame to wood, I would light the small fire and lean back into the cushions on the swing. All around me the magic would begin. The night birds would start, followed by the tree frog high off the ground. Down at the pond the deep bass of the bullfrog would join the chorus. The crickets would begin their harmonizing along with what ever other member of this magnificent moment. Firefly would dance about among the trees and plants in the yard, their sparkle the perfect touch.
If the moon was full, it provided a glorious light to the stage, if not, so much the better for the cloak of darkness only added to the ambience of the moment. The soft, distant light of the stars adding a touch of glitter to the dark scroll of the sky. Before me the colors of the low flames lighting the circle around me, drawing me into the warmth of the moment. The crackling and popping of the wood adding notes to the symphony of the night. Above me the canopy of leaves preventing my seeing much of the night sky, but I know its there. I dream of open spaces and a sky that stretches on forever. I dream of watching comets with blazing tails trailing behind, shooting stars, and planets hanging in the heavens.I dream of mountain ranges, rivers and waterfall. I dream of fields covered in flowers and wildlife. I dream of a beauty and peace missing in many places, but still existing in others, waiting to be remembered and rediscovered. Not in the tourist way, but in the soul. Sitting in the dark, my mind wanders as my soul is anchored in the moment. The peace that wraps around me like a soft, blanket. The breeze a refreshing drink for the soul. The music of the night, a healing balm for a wounded spirit on the mend. The quiet, a dose and measure of contentment.
At the edge of the woods, stands a large wooden frame, what is left from when a wooden swing hung there. A reminder, an invitation to replace. Just at the edge of the trees, just at the margins of the magic. A reminder, that not all have the options, not all have the gift of solitude.
The glider I mentioned, it had suffered over twenty years of neglect. I had placed it out in the open on the far side of the yard and basically forgotten about it existing. Then, in a moment of what do I do now, I remembered and brought it around the house. I sanded away the rust that had formed, I cleaned, and removed all signs of abuse. I then decided on the colors, purchased the paint and tape. I marked off margins and began to paint, first with a base, then the color. In time, the glider and chair were brought back to life. I then moved them to safety from the elements on my front porch. From there, I can enjoy the sights, sounds and moments of the day, of the weather, of the moment. Restoration of even the most damaged, and neglected is possible.