in the swing at nautilus teachings


she sat down
upon the weathered
wooden seat
checked the ropes
it dangled from
to make sure they
were strong
pulled the clip from her hair
tilted her head back
closed her eyes
and began…
higher and higher
over the soft
green grasses
as her faded memory
click, click, clicking
reel to reel
of some of the happiest
times in her life…
the seats
in those days were
bright blue and brilliant red
thick, soft plastic
with tiny holes
they were suspended
by long rusty chains
and instead of one
like she had now
there were
at least 10
all hanging over
sandy bottoms…
she spent days,
even years
willing her tiny legs
to stretch longer
pull her higher
and just when she thought
she could go no further
she would catapult
her giggling, happiness
off the seat and land
in the heated
baby butt soft sand…

she loved
how this small energy release
calmed her
actually made her feel
in control
and free like a
soaring bird…
she had no fear at all
and would
immediately hop
back upon the
warmed seat
and repeat
over and over
until at last
she would begin her
slow walk home…
as she approached
her next stop for the day
she would take off her
red ball tennies
and filthy socks
and dip her sweaty toes
into the gurgling creek…
the current always ran so fast
it was cold, shallow and had
tiny minnows skittering
down stream,
each side was lined
with lazy dandelions
a random yellow buttercup
and every now and then
a clump of lily of the valley…
sometimes she would
catch a hopping toad
hold him to her lips
kiss him and whisper
“there, now you are my prince…”
she loved the sound
of the churning water
like it was speaking
just to her…
she walked until the water
ran under a tunnel
then stepped back into the grass
and continued on barefoot…

oh, how she loved to
be shoeless…
she then climbed the small hill,
crossed the winding road
and before her stood
her hiding spot
her safe place
Lords Park…
today there were many
moms with their kids
feeding bread to the ducks
the swans were gliding
gracefully by
butterflies were flitting
all around
and an occasional bee
buzzed quickly by her ears…
feeling her leg tighten up
she opens her eyes
and just enjoys the gliding
without effort
as she eventually slows
to a stop…
her two boys
finn and reef
are watching her
tilting there heads
side to side
she imagines them speaking
“what the heck is mommy doing?”
“i don’t know, maybe she’s gone
a bit cray-cray?”
i place my feet upon solid ground
and step off of my
wooden swing d hung
in the backyard
overlooking the canal
5 years ago…
i think to myself,
“well, i may be aging
but this ole girl can still swing
with the rest of them…”
it is so important to
take some time to be a kid again,
play hopscotch,
get out an old board game,
lay in the grass
and look at the stars,
pick wildflowers…
and breath in
the beauty
and simplicity
of our God given life…