Thursday, December 3, 2009

To be free.

I snapped this of my son, Max, as I pushed him in the baby swing. We were taking advantage of the fabulously nice days we've been given here in mucky hot Central Florida. Plus, the kid just likes to swing.

It's blurry, crooked, and he's kinda chopped off at the chin. His hair is all mussed from the wind blowing through it. Professional quality, not ever. But it's my favorite photo of him so far.

Other that the hint of teeth that look like grains of rice in his mouth, the reason this photo is my favorite is because he looks so free.

Swinging is one of those things that makes you feel like pure trust and freedom all at the same time. Your body is hurtled forward faster than feels possible and then you free fall backwards just to do it all again. Something a bit like life. If you haven't tried it since you were a kid, do it. Find some secluded playground or hop on your neighbors when they're at work and have a go. It's nothing at all like you remembered.

When you're a kid you rarely think of falling only pushing yourself to go higher. Wondering if, really, you can swing all the way around the bar. A little scared to find out but curious none the less. I think being scared makes it even more fun. We don't know if we'll fall, if the chain will break or if we'll be able to get it to stop, feeling like it could go on forever. We scream or laugh in wild abandon and let the momentum take us for a ride. Sometimes we help push it along, adding fuel to the fire. Sometimes there's a neighbor. We get caught up in our own movement but are enormously delighted when their swinging is in perfect sync with ours.

Sometime during our lives we get scared of the movement. We put down childish things and strap on responsibilities.Oh, to be free. To feel the wind in our hair and just let everything go. Trusting completely the ropes won't break, that we won't fall. Experiencing that free fall feeling as our stomachs get sucked out of our gut. It might be scary, sometimes it doesn't have to be. Have faith the momentum will thrust you forward once again.

And don't let the kids have all the fun.

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