Kenneth, born and raised in the South, resides in Hamilton, Alabama. He enjoys sharing his unique perspectives on life through his writing.
Friends, Look up Here and Pay Attention
let's reintroduce you to our mutual friend who came all the way from the 1800's all the way to and finally started rolling in the 1900's. I give you, the humble, stately porch swing. Yes, the porch swing. More than a conversation piece, although people do sit in their porch swings and talk to their loved ones, friends, even a former enemy. Do you think that the porch swinis endowed with magical enchantments? No. But I am not a porch swing whisperer.
Ahhh, yes. Let's sit here on this gorgeous June morning and sip our coffee and just sit. Not talk. But let the summer breezes sift through your head. I can't say that, but you, my pretty companion, were blessed with bales of thick hair. God is good. God made everything including this porch swing. Feel the soft movement that we are enjoying. Yes, the breezes. Yes, the porch swing and summer breezes are great friends. Or did you know that?
Porch swings are oh so flexible. They can be used to sit in and rest or just sit in and do nothing. You see, porch swings fill the need of almost everyone who has just walked by them and overlooked their special talents. You can eat in them, sleep in them, and if you are a young person with a lot of imagination, you can pretend that the porch swing is an airplane or jet and the higher you swing, the more fun you have, but listen. Make sure that your siblings are not standing in front of your "airplane" or mom, because if this happens, you will, and I mean will, "crash and burn."
Porch Swings Come in Many Colors
available to the burning desires of one's heart. Blue, red, green, brown leap to mind. Even white or not painted at all. The porch swing is happy either way. When you grow up with few toys and fewer friends to play with, you stick to your front porch swing. It's just like when you and the porch swing are together, the porch swing takes on a voice onto itself. The child understand. The porch swing answers. So why all the questions? Porch swings are always innocent. They pose no evil or vile threat. They love everyone that they meet and animals too. You can't beat a good front porch swing.
Here's another thing that you may not know. Porch swings can sing. When the gentle summer breezes float through the chains (on each side) that hold them up, you can hear that easy, pleasing hum that is you are not careful, you will become drowsy and hypnotized, but feel like a million bucks. This is a treasured secret, so be careful who you share this with.
Porch swings do have relatives. True. Tree swings made with rope and a piece of lumber for a seat, are the first-cousins of the porch swing. But although they are related, a grape vine swing, a very old grape vine, can be seen as a rogue swing and not to be trusted. I know. I was scared up to Heaven when as a kid, I thought that I could be like Tarzan and swing like him. Nope. My "grapevine swing" did not even act like one of his jungle vines that carried him and Cheetah from tree-to-tree. You see, porch swings are not a creation unto themselves. I did learn that at a young age.
A Bit About My Porch Swing
and oh, how proud I was to be able to sit in my porch swing each time I had a chance. It was almost green. I say almost because the green paint, I think that my dad did the painting when he made it, was almost faded from the years of sitting and shifting when the porch swing went with us when we were share croppers. But still, I loved that dear old porch swing. I'm sure that you did too if you at one time in your life owned a porch swing.
My porch swing had a most-peculiar sound. When I was rocking back and forth, the chains had a distinctive creak that almost talked to me telling me that I would be alright if I sat in the seat of my porch swing. Yes, sitting in my porch swing was more like being in a safe haven far away from the violence and evil that hides from us when we are in our porch swings. This is also a true fact.
I can recall "that" certain moment when I had grown from a kid to a young adult, I knew that something was not as safe as it was sitting in my porch swing and that my imaginary games that I had played in the swing did not mean that much. I shed a few tears in secret because I was ashamed to admit that I would not be sitting in my swing as much because I was going to face a lot of adult experiences and obstacles that my porch swing would not be there to help me. Sure, I cried. Sudden sadness will do that every time.
So Where Did My Porch Swing End-Up
you might shocked. And if this has ever happened to you, this will touch your memories like they did mine. When my family and I moved from the big frame house where we lived when we share cropped for a living, I took special care for our porch swing and I packed it easy in my father's pick-up truck. And as the miles went by heading to another new place to live, I would look back from the inside of my dad's truck to just make sure that our porch swing was riding safely. I felt so good to know that I had worried for nothing.
But upon reaching our new house, we unpacked dad's truck and yes, I took special care for our porch swing. I was glad again that no harm had came to it. Dad put up our swing with new chains and for a moment, it looked brand-new, as if it had been reborn. I mean it did look that way because I stood and stared at it.
Then one day when I had taken our porch swing for granted, I came back to sit in our new porch and my breath became short. My heart stopped for a moment. Our dependable porch swing was gone. Nowhere to be found. My folks and I searched an entire day and into that night and still, no porch swing. I felt as if my life was shattered. It was and stayed much that way for years.
Sometimes I'd wonder if maybe our porch swing had somehow disappeared, not from the hands of thieves, but due to being out of age and use. And just crept away in the cold darkness of night. I kept that thinking all to myself. Even my folks would have scolded me if I had told them.
Today I am 67. And still wonder.
March 09, 2021_____________________________________________________
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© 2021 Kenneth Avery