Monday, August 2, 2010

A Porch Swing Chronicle

It's a perfect night for sitting out on a porch swing, or in a screened-in porch, neither of which I have (yet). I do have a back patio, though, and so I am sitting out on my patio swing enjoying an uncharacteristically comfortable August evening.

This blog was begun on a porch swing during. Four years ago, I turned my back on a daunting to-do list and all the frantic craziness that accompanied it, and instead went to a picnic. While there, I wandered onto the front porch and sat in the porch swing, easing myself back and forth, taking in the rural front yard so different from my own suburban patio. Over the railing, I could see the creek that ran through my brother- and sister-in-law's back yard - the creek where my brother-in-law had discovered three snakes that day. If I found three snakes in my yard, I'd move. Or at least call Snakebusters.

But the porch was a safe distance away from the water, and the swing was my respite. In that swing, on a porch that was not my own, miles away from the tasks that made up my to-do list, peace came. For the first time in weeks, I simply sat, enjoying the quiet.

Then the words came. Words about summer vacation and kids, long days and cool evenings. A season of sunscreen and porch swings, beaches and camps and picnics in the grass or on the living room floor.

Before we left for home, my daughter and I sat alone on the porch swing for a few minutes. She loved the swing, too, especially once she discovered that its view included fish jumping in and out of the water in the creek that both fascinated and intimidated her.

No other blogs have been written from that particular vantage point, although I sometimes come out to my patio swing to write when the weather is nice. To this day, I still don't know whether it was the change of scenery, the gentle rocking of the porch swing, or swing itself that loosened the words and inspired much-needed relaxation, but four years later, I remain grateful for the inspiration I found there.

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