Essay: Boy on a Swing

Jun 12, 2020

I walk by a school and see a boy on a swing.  Not a little boy but a young man of about sixteen, swinging in broad arcs—up and down, up and down.  He is all by himself on the playground and I wonder what has prompted him to get back on a swing.  Then I remember that I did the same thing, not so long ago.

I wanted to feel it again, the soaring magic of tilting up into the sky, of leaning back and pumping myself higher and higher until I am sure I’ll go right over the top.  Until I am sure I will catapult myself onto a cloud.  

I hear the creak of the chains and feel the shivery vibrations as they carry me aloft.  

I want to feel the magic again, but instead I feel my hips pinched inside the rubber sling that has replaced the rigid seat.  Instead, I feel dizzy when I lean back and my hands ache from holding on.  

I wanted it to be the same, but it wasn’t.  And now, as I watch the young man on the playground, swinging up and down, I wonder if it’s the same for him?  

I hope it is.