Monday, January 12, 2009

the swing of things

cane garden bay tire swing, british virgin islands photo from sseana1

there is something so devastatingly lonesome about the tire swing. out there in big landscapes under big skies it hangs still, waiting. or unobserved, it swings with quiet breezes or shakes with heavy winds or sags with thick snow. dangling and swaying alone. of course someone will come every once in a while and swing or sit. a band of hollering, jumping children or a soft-stepping solitary old man or a pair of ladies with their summer skirts and brown ankles and bending necks...of course they come, with all their nostalgia and hope and laughter and awe and sorrow— and they swing for a while, pumping the air with their legs, letting their hair stream and flutter, closing their eyes against the heat or cold. but they go away eventually, feeling a little lighter maybe, a little more alive or relevant or enchanted, or maybe just hungry and flushed. but they walk away, or run or skip or amble, and leave the tire swing to drift for a bit in the air, underneath the creaking branches and the humming leaves and the hopping bird feet and those immense startling skies. and then it slows to an almost standstill, just barely pulling at the rope or chain it hangs on, but still softly thumping the air without anyone watching or knowing or wondering.  

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