While with Gavin at the park the other day I noticed this little girl of about 10 or 11 swinging with a wide grin on her face. I found myself smiling with her and at a memory of myself on a swing. Swinging was one of my favorite things as a child. I loved the feel of my legs kicking high in the air while my head dipped low. Sometimes I would look behind me. Sometimes I would see if my hair would touch the ground. Sometimes when my swing came up I would wrap my arms around the chain link swing and push my chest out almost as if to lunge forward. Other times I would hold on to the swing with both hands and bolt myself out. Flying in the air landing on the soft earth only to run back and swing again.
I was just thinking the other day that I don’t even remember who I was as a child. What I was like. And here I was blessed with a marvelous memory. A memory so sweet and delicious. A memory that allows me to re-experience some childhood joy which I felt was in such short supply. Maybe my happy childhood memories aren’t around family or warm family holiday get-together but that doesn’t mean happy times were completely devoid in my life. I can take heart in the fact that there were times when I was able to be free, I was able to be myself with out judgement or criticism. This is good to have, this memory. I am grateful that it was shown to me. Assuming, of course, that there is a reason to everything and I was given a gift of a memory of who I was and who I still am and will always be, a free spirit, enjoying life, child of God.
I have this picture taken of me on a swing. I am barely visible in the picture however it is clear I am not the free spirit in my memory. In my memory, I am at the school playground away from the drama of my family life. In this picture, I am in our back yard. I am about 10 or 11. I am glad for the memory of my swinging at the school playground because I needed to know that I had times when I was not so burdened down. That I found a place to feel free. It is a memory I will nurture and cherish. A memory I will use to help the little girl in the picture.
Do you have any memories where you felt free and light-hearted? When you remember them, do you feel like it is a gift, a peek inside the you as a child, the you that is always there even though at times you may lose touch with it. I look forward to hearing some of those memories that you feel like sharing.