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Gratitude Monday: The Rope Swing

September 3, 2012

Screaming and laughter in Bonnie’s backyard.
Silence and secrets, stillness by the moonrise.
Cousins and brothers and sisters and holidays
Feet-first flying cut-offs into Kezar Lake.

What’s your childhood memory of a rope swing?

I remember some by name, some only by place. The best ones hang over an incline, starting at a run,. soaring into space so high you’ll scrape your forehead on the branches-scary.

I remember the tire swing by the creek in Bonnie McCluskey’s backyard. Gabe remembers hair-raising shenanigans with teenage boys over Kezar Lake.

Nana remembers taking turns with four brothers, running feet digging a trench so deep that summer rains filled it up, half-dragging, half-swinging them all through glorious mud.

I’ve been asking for a swing at our family cabin since Dad bought the place ten years ago.

This year, at 60-something, he shimmied up one of the live oaks and complied.

It was perfect.

They never asked to watch TV all weekend, not once. When the adults were sitting out on the deck watching the blue moon, they were down on the swing. When they got bored while we were packing the car, they were down on the swing. When we came back from swimming the lake, they were down on the swing, salty and tan, barechested, barefooted, sticky and free.

We sat on the swing and watched a family of deer at dinner, not 10 yards away. A fawn so young, still nursing, older sisters still hanging around.

So simple, so intrinsically childhood.

I wish there were more things like that in our lives. We get caught up in our week-a-day woes, our homework and schedules and technology and we forget the bliss of an unencumbered summer’s evening, with nothing to do, nowhere to be, play-outside-till-dark and then come up to the deck for ice cream before the coyotes come out.

What are your childhood memories of a rope swing?

Linking up with:

A Little R & R
11 Comments leave one →
  1. Donna F. permalink
    September 3, 2012 6:20 pm

    I think Patty and I would both say it was the fun on Grandpa’s hammock with our cousins! I can still smell the Army canvas and hear the squeals as us 5 girl cousins would wrap each other in a tight hammock cacoon and see if we’d end up rightside or not when the “ride” ended! We certainly didn’t need electronics to keep us entertained during our summer visits out in the country of Tennessee! Such fun memories and I’m so glad you are helping your boys build their own.

  2. September 3, 2012 8:34 pm

    Lovely, Adelle. Three years ago, our entire tribe vacationed near Yosemite. We drove in for a day trip and our eldest grandson – that year EIGHTEEN years old – bought a rope and figured out a way to sling it over a tree hanging over the Merced river. And he swang away. Nothing extends childhood quite like that whole tree-swing thing.

  3. September 4, 2012 7:19 am

    Diana – we were just outside of Yosemite as well! Perfect!

  4. Elaine permalink
    September 4, 2012 9:40 am

    The rope swing at Lynns country store in Cambria is my favorite rope swing memory ^_^ The country store is a drive from town down a winding road… and is a little farm house with a big berry patch out front. Best Ollalieberry pies and jam ever! The rope swing was on a tree at the top of a pretty steep incline in the back yard. I remember warm sun, lot’s of little busy bees, and fresh home-made pies 🙂

  5. September 4, 2012 4:38 pm

    We had a rope swing over the creek in our backyard. So many hours on that thing and so many happy memories!

  6. September 13, 2012 1:51 am

    Thank you for those wonderful memories, Adelle. They make me smile and think of simpler times. Then, it reminds me of why I work so hard…I want those simply happy times for my son, Teddy! Thank you for thinking of me! ❤

  7. September 13, 2012 12:03 pm

    I’ll confess my memory was being utterly terrified of it. I did swing (glide I guess) over an incline as an adult and screamed for all I was worth. lol!! I can’t wait to hook up a swing for the kids, though, at our new home when we move in next week. I know they will have many wonderful memories (provided they don’t get their fear of heights from me!) Thank you for linking up at Mommy Teaches!


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