I was six years old when my father built my first swing. It was a rustic contraption, just a piece of plywood held by a rope. We did not have a garden so it was secured on a ceiling beam in the spare room facing a very large window. Looking back I suppose it wasn't the customary and usual place for a swing, but my father was a firm believer that every child should have one.
The swing became a part of me. Rain or shine it provided comfort, a favorite place for reading and dreaming. As the years passed my father adjusted the size of the seat and the strength of the rope. I was growing up, my dreams were also changing. The swing's familiar shelter helped to ease the pain of my first broken heart, it was the place where I first heard my beloved Beatles and "fell in love" with Paul McCartney. On the swing I read my first romantic novel, enjoyed ice cream, practiced my knitting, and cried when my cat died.
Eventually we moved to a new place. The swing was left behind along with my childhood. Time went by, life happened.
Three years ago, on a beautiful summer afternoon I came home to find a brand new swing in the garden. It seems almost symbolic that the two most important men in my life, my father and my husband, have been responsible for providing what I consider to be a perfect place.
As soon as the weather starts to get warmer, and even before I begin the cleaning of the garden, I bring out my cherished swing, it's comfy cushions and lace throw, with great anticipation of the months to come.
Housework slows down almost to a halt during the summer, everyone knows where to find me. The swing becomes my primary home, the best seat to watch the squirrels frolic, the birds build their nests and feed their young. There is no better place to read a book, enjoy a glass of wine, listen to the sound of water from the fountain, or take a nap on a hot, lazy afternoon.
I come back out again at dusk, just in time to light colored candles and savour the peace I find on my swing.