Summer evenings beckon me outside when the heat of the day tapers, just before the heaviness of night falls. It’s always been that way. When the world settles into a brilliance of colors and smells, and this waft of peacefulness settles in for a brief stay.
There were swing sets across the street from the house where I grew up. My favorite moments to ride back and forth were after dinner when I could feel the coolness of the evening breeze on my bare arms and legs.
The thing about the swings is that your ride is dependent only on yourself (at least once an adult teaches you to pump your legs so they no longer have to endlessly push you). The harder you pump, the higher you go. The wigglier you ride, the more raucous your trajectory. If you’re willing to let loose — just a little — you’ll feel a gap between when the swing starts to go down and when your body catches back up to it. Or, maybe, when it’s the cool of the evening and the golden hour ushers in, you’ll aim for a pace that provides a constant whooshing similar to the steady pace littles seem to enjoy being pushed at for endless hours. Alone on the swings, that pace lulled on the wanderings of my imagination.
Swing sets are so familiar to the playground, one feels naked without it. Riding the swings can be exhilarating or peaceful depending on the mood. The more you ride, the more you are confident to take risks and ride to the fullest extent of the swing’s capacity.
feels similar to me — a beautiful, exhilarating, simple, (sometimes disappointing), necessary, refreshing piece of life.
As we explore friendship within these pages, may you breathe in anew the fresh air for kindred spirits and find yourself willing to pump just a little higher.
This originally appeared in Hello, Dearest Summer 2015. If you didn’t get a copy and would like your own, you can subscribe to get Hello, Dearest in your mailbox every season. If you subscribe, forward your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll shoot a copy of the current issue in the mail to you for free … just because we like you.