Back and forth about swings

When I was a kid, I had a swing. It was a simple swing, really, a board hung from a sturdy tree branch with two strong ropes near the corral on our farm. It was a nice play to play and unwind.

In grade school, my friends and I hit the swings at recess. Whenever we’d swing in unison, matching each other’s height and path, we’d yell, “Get out of my bathtub!” I’m not sure where that saying came from. Maybe it’s a western Kansas anomaly.

My grandparents had two swings on their farm: a single, wooden swing, and a porch swing. I have many fond memories of my grandma pushing me higher, higher, and sometimes my dad pushing me high enough to run underneath. There were also more relaxed moments on the porch swing, sitting and swinging ever so slightly.

In high school, sometimes my friends and I would hang out at the park. I have photos from a time right after graduation of four of us sitting on the swings. It was more than swinging. It was a place to connect.

Since that time, though, I have rarely found the desire to swing. I blame motion sickness.

However, three times in the past two months I have found myself on a swing.

While celebrating a friend’s milestone birthday recently, her one request after dinner was a trip to the park to swing. I had forgotten what it felt like to push the limits and soar high into the sky, laughing as my hair blew in the wind. It was fun. Until it wasn’t. But that’s beside the point.

Twice since then, I’ve been to the park and ended up on the swings. It’s a nice place for conversation, even if I’m not swinging as high as I used to.

So, why all this talk of swings? I think life is kind of like swinging.

Sometimes it takes time to get going and find your rhythm. A swing’s natural path means there will be times where we’re soaring with not a care in the world, as well as times where we feel like we’re going backward. Sometimes you can’t go up without first being down. Life can be a rollercoaster sometimes.

My friend’s simple pleasure in swinging inspired me to seek out and enjoy the little things in life and not get caught up in the busyness.

As I reminded her, life may bring ups and downs, but the important thing is to just keep swinging.

Janae Rempel is sports editor at the Free Press. You can reach her at janae@hillsborofreepress.com.