I Am a Real Swinger

I had intended to write a very philosophical post about Easter, resurrection, and what the ideas of spring rebirth could mean to us today, other than the obvious religious ones. It just wasn’t coming together, so I looked at blog post suggestions from several websites. I didn’t get any specific ideas there, but while doing it an old favorite poem come to mind. So, I shall write about that. After all, we do need a bit of frivol in this unfrivolous time.

When I was very young, I had a swing which was a thick rope with a board seat hung from a limb of a black walnut tree in the front yard. I loved that swing. I could sit there for long times, singing to myself and making up stories with my imaginary playmates. I knew the “friends” weren’t real, but I enjoyed them. It was there that I began developing the imagination that has served me well over the years.

On that farm there were kittens and dogs. I told them my stories. There was also a brown mulley cow, Polly. I loved Polly. She was sort of my nursemaid. Mom said one time she looked for me out the window and saw me lying on Polly’s head with my arms around her neck. Polly was calmly eating grass and didn’t move while I hugged her. Mom also said that, had she wanted to, Polly could have slung me into a nearby tree. But Polly was gentle, she generously gave us milk that Mom turned into butter and cottage cheese, as well as using it as the milk it already was.

That front-yard swing was not the only one we had; there was one that Grandpa had made on the porch. Mom, Dad, and I would sit there in the dark, warm nights, me crowded in between them. We sat there looking at the stars and the lights from houses across the valley. We sat there and sang. I learned some of my then-favorite songs during those dark, starry nights. I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles; The Old Rugged Cross; Wait ‘Til the Sun Shines, Nellie; Froggie Went a-Courtin’; and a few others.

I walked about the farm singing all the time, but mostly, I associate swinging and singing. Imagine my thrill when I discovered a poem that expressed my feelings exactly.

 

The Swing

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
River and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside—

Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown—
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!

(Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)
This poem is in the public domain.)

 

Our lives would change drastically in the next few years. I grew up but never lost the thrill of swinging. At one time my neighbors had a swing in their yard. The swing hung from a high limb on a hill. Swing high I went out over a void which did make me feel like I was flying. I actually looked  down on a roof so brown. I still have the porch swing. It’s been with me all my life. And sometimes I hang it up, when the weather gets warm, on my own front porch. I have been known to sit there and swing sometimes and remember, and dream, and imagine on a warm, starry night.

This article was written by Margie Campbell

I have been "writing" since I could first hold a pencil. I would fill lines with squiggles thinking that would could convey my ideas to the world. As I grew, so did my interest in writing. It really helped when I learned to make letters and to combine them into "real" words. I have a degree in creative writing and a Master's in English (tech writing specialty). I am retired from teaching all types of writing as an adjunct at community colleges in VA, MD, Ohio, and WVA.

7 thoughts on “I Am a Real Swinger”

  1. Eee-gads, I have a couple of porch swings in my past too. I think I’ve always been looking for replacements but never found them. Sad. I love a good porch swing. And I too did the “swinging and singing” thing. Something about swaying back and forth makes it seem the perfect activity!

  2. Who doesn’t long for a return to such a simple time? There can be no better time in a child’s life than available hours to swing and dream. My love of swinging transitioned into a love of rocking. No better possession to own as an adult than a comfortable rocking chair.

    1. Kim,
      Thanks for the comment. I, too, have taken up rocking. I’ll bet you aren’t surprised. Just a couple years ago, I bought a nifty little rocking chair at an antique store in Maryland.

  3. I loved that poem as a child. My dad built swings in the woods next to us. I liked to swing but my favorite place to swing was on the bar where I could swing hanging upside down by my knees. I could also get up on the bar and swing on a high perch. I would like to have been a highwire performer.
    Thanks for some sweet memories!

    1. Bev,
      I never imagined this about you. 🙂 I, too, liked hanging upside down by knees from a bar and swinging. Your Aunt had one in her yard in Friendly. It was a couple old wooden, weather-beaten post with a metal bar fastened across the top. That was great fun. Of course, that was a few years later–about six years later.
      Thanks for your comment. Keep reading. You never know what I will come up with next.

  4. A sweet, old-fashioned memory! Just the kind my soul needed during these bizarre times when a virus sweeps the world like a plague… Thanks my friend!

    1. Jorinde,

      Just how old do you think I am? 🙂 Anyway, thanks for the comment. I’m glad my little memory lightened your day. Hang in there, kiddo.

      Thanks for the comment. I appreciate all the comments I get.

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