"let your boat of life be light, packed with only
what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, someone to love and someone to love you,
enough to eat and enough to wear
and a little more than enough to drink:
for thirst is a dangerous thing"

Sunday, 18 September 2011

a thing about swings

The Swing, one of the poems from my childhood that I remember well.  Also Masefield's Sea Fever - you know the one? "I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky, And all I ask is a tall ship and star to steer her by, And the wheel's kick and wind's song and the white sail's shaking, And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking".  It is strange when you look back on your years at school and think of how some teachers had the ability to make a difference and teach you something (even Masefield's poems) and others, although you may remember their names, there is nothing in your mind that made any impression on you at all.  Perhaps it was the subjects that they were teaching but even some of the dreaded Mr Weatherdon's science experiments managed to stick in my head - I still remember about "Exothermic Reaction" - basically how to make amazing foam - peroxide, sunlight liquid and water in a bottle.  You then add dry yeast which you have mixed with a bit of water - add this to the bottle.  Oh my word it was awesome.  I still remember this weird thick foam oozing out of the bottle and Mr W getting so excited about it (not nearly as excited as I was, but I had to act unmoved because that is the way we were in Standard 6 at "that school").  It was like a mammoth elephant pimple.  Okay, won't go into too much detail.  I am strange like that (I think I am opening up enough to give you a list of my strangeness sometime soon).  I am not mad about the sight of blood but a pimple - my best.

My oddities are not the subject for this post.  This one is about swings.

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,
Rivers 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!
Source: A Child's Garden of Verses (1999)

Serendipitous Serenity.

A Girl on the Swing

She sees the mountain
upside down.

With her long hair
sweeping the fallen leaves
she swings
like a pendulum.

From the lagoon at sunset
a hundred sparrows fly away.

Wishing them back
she whistles softly.
And downward
she falls into the sky.

What about this picture?  I needed to be there.  How did he get down? Surely he must have
knocked her off her perch?  Shucks it must have been an interesting picture to take.  I tried
investigating but no luck.

Then a couple of wonderful places for a swing:-

I love this one,

and this one.  I don't know if I am more envious (not jealous) of the swing or the porch?

This one does not look to difficult to have made.  Would love to find a space to hang one - may need to build the porch first.
Three of my favourite people on a swing.  Rusty Gate Farm for Dalene's 50th.  Now that is a great spot for a swing.

by Jenny

It was a long time ago
but it does not seem like that long ago
when my father taught me how to swing
"legs tucked under, legs out straight"
I remember getting it right 
and feeling so proud that I 
could do it on my own
But then I remember 
feeling a little sad 
that now that I could do it alone
he didn't need to or want to 
push me anymore

It does not seem that long ago
but I suppose it was pretty long ago
when I was teaching boys to swing
"bend your knees, straighten your legs"
they learnt fast and never felt the need
to sit and swing 
I know they felt proud when they
had mastered the task
of standing and swinging
as high as they could
and could show their friends
that they, too could swing
as high as the swing would go
But they, unlike me, were relieved
that they never needed their 
mom to push them in a swing 
in the park again

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