Where Was The Beauty In Your Childhood?

I have loved swings for as long as I can remember.

Anytime I was on the playground at school or visiting a park, I would run to the swingset to claim a seat.
Jungle gyms fascinated me, but I could never muster the courage to climb higher than the second rung, not trusting my balance, and hanging upside down was out of the question for fear of falling on my face.
Slides were okay but required a lot of effort in overcoming my fear of heights since climbing the ladder to the top took me a long time with my methodical, frequent stops to ensure my footing before moving to the next step.
I liked to ride a merry-go-round, but pushing it required coordination or friends, two things I couldn’t always count on.
But there was something about the smooth motion of a swing with the breeze on my face as I flew higher that gave me a sense of freedom, independence, and control along with a peaceful contentment.
As an adult I have found a similar, though flatter, feeling on swivel chairs, but the pendulum-like movement is felt deep in my core as if tuned to my inner rhythm.
I had been reflecting about my love of swings and why I was so drawn to them earlier in the week, but I had put it to the side. Then on Sunday the whole family took my mom out to lunch to celebrate her birthday. After eating, we spontaneously decided to go to a nearby park to eat cupcakes and let my young nephews play. As I followed them around the playground with my camera we came to the swings. My 3-year old nephew was hesitant to try them, but with some help, he was soon smiling and laughing with joy.
I was clicking away with my camera, watching my sister then my brother-in-law try (unsuccessfully) to fit into the small seat to model for their son, when it dawned on me... I wanted to swing! I figured the space between the chains would easily accommodate my child-sized body (the consequence of a rare muscular dystrophy), so I made my way over.



As I began moving back and forth, muscle memory took over and I was pumping my legs to propel the swing. I was transported back to my childhood, gripping the metal links that suspended my weight, breathing the summer air, and connected once again to my inner rhythm.

How often do we return to what brought us beauty and joy as a child?

Why do we feel like those activities should be reserved for the past?
I have a porch swing on my deck that has seen many comforting moments of solitude and shared stories and laughter with friends. But it's easy to forget about making time for swinging. I need to remember the beauty and peace it can bring to my life, especially when I'm feeling the darkest.

What joy and beauty do you need to remember?


How can you seek it out and make time for it?


Let your childhood self be your guide.

***
Here are a couple of my doorways from this week:


  • A small, black and white chickadee was chirping/talking to me as he checked all of my (empty) bird feeders for treats. It was a beautiful reminder that I want to refill the seeds so I can see and hear more birds.
  • As I was pulling out of my subdivision, I waited for an oncoming vehicle to pass. It was clearly a restored car from the 50s or 60s and it was painted a delicious candy orange. It made me think about the innovation of that era and the futuristic optimism that inspired so many neat designs.

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