As a child, my family lived in an old farmhouse in the middle of farm country. While the land now boasts cookie-cutter neighborhoods, back then the little house was surrounded by fields, far as the eye could see. There was much to love about that property–one of my favorites being the large Catalpa tree, upon whose branches hung a swing made of wood and rope.
None of it actually belonged to us, mind you. My parents only rented the place–a fact I could hardly fathom. And I despised the landlord’s grandchildren. One boy and one girl, they arrived with their grandparents every now and again, suddenly and without warning. They’d tumbled out of the old Cadillac Deville and saunter out back, where they promptly took over the tree swing. I kept close watch from the dining room window. A ghastly representation of Tweedledee and Tweedledum, I thought them positively wretched–a belief only solidified when the boy jumped on the swing, broke it, then proceeded to laugh maniacally.
Apparently, my mom kept a watchful eye on me. She saw it in my eyes and made it clear: I could not, under no uncertain terms, punch the boy nor hurl insults of any kind. Highly unfair. She did promise my dad would fix the swing.
And he did.
Before long I was once again ascending to great heights, up in the air, over fields, rivaling the tops of trees.
Looking back I’m fairly certain every child–every adult, for that matter–should have a tree swing. After all, life’s somehow better when you soar . . .