It feels almost like spring out today, and I saw some children swinging on swings in a park. The boy had his tummy on the swing seat and would push off with his feet, lift his legs, and let gravity take him, watching the ground fly by. The girl used a more traditional method, holding the chains and pumping with her feet, aiming for the sky. And though it's been a while since I've swung on a swing, the feelings all came back to me.
The effort, yes, especially as I start up. I step back and then swing forward while I lean back and put my legs out straight in front. On the return, I do the opposite: lean forward and tuck my legs tight under me. Repeat until I get as high as I want--and then it gets easier. Then I get to maintain: push and pull, lean and tuck. And enjoy the swoosh. The wind. The sky--my feet reach for it. The birds above me. The ground swinging below me. Yes, there are other people around, but on the swing, it's as though I'm alone in the world. Alone. Free. In control. Happy.
I've pushed my grandchildren on swings enough to know that the wonderful sensations of swinging on a swing are not unique to me. They feel it, too, and can swing for hours--as long as I push them. And there's something soothing about pushing a child on a swing, too. Maybe not the exact same as being on the swing, but close. And it occurs to me that maybe there should be more swingsets around so that all of us can take a turn now and then. Get on the swing, hold onto the chains, and push off into the sky. Maybe if we did that more, we'd get along better, be nicer to each other, be happier. It's an idea--and it wouldn't cost much money.