Ever since I was two years old and got my very first swing set from my grandparents for my birthday, I have loved to swing. I literally swang on that swing set until it rusted through and fell apart. Then, I upgraded to a big wooden swing where I could swing with friends. And boy, did I swing on that swing over the years.
I would swing for hours everyday, listening to music and thinking about stuff. The things I thought about don’t really matter. They usually ranged from weekend plans to silly crushes. But it was the comfort that I got from swinging that was so wonderful. There’s something about that rhythmic, back and forth motion that makes me feel like everything in the world is a-ok.
Sadly, though, since I’ve moved out on my own, swinging has become harder to do. First, because I don’t have a yard so owning my own swing is pretty much out of the question. And second, because I never really want to be that weird grown up person swinging on the kid’s playground and taking up a swing that some kid wants to sit in.
But last night, I really didn’t care about all that. My American Idol date fell through, and I was bummed. I needed a pick-me-up, and the only one I knew that would do the trick was a good, solid hour of swinging. Without a second thought, I loaded my new Taylor Swift CD onto my iPod, bundled up (springtime really has been so fickle this year) and headed down to the beach.
When I first moved to Manhattan Beach, I was completely excited by the swings on the beach. What could be better than swinging a few feet away from the ocean, I thought. However, I soon came to learn that everyone in the city felt the same way, which made it pretty impossible to ever find an empty swing.
But that didn’t matter last night. I was on a mission. I needed some good-old-fashioned swinging, a little country music and the wind in my hair, and if I had to kick some five-year-old off the swing set to get it, I would.
Thankfully, though, it didn’t come to that. There were two swings open when I got to the beach. I made a beeline for them, and for the next blissful hour, I swang. I swang and watched the people on the beach path. I swang and daydreamed about the summertime. I swang and sang out loud to the music that only I could hear playing in my ears.
And when the sun began to sink into the water (something that truly looks strange when you see it up close), I reluctantly began the walk back to my car. I could have stayed out there all night. Swinging. Singing. Thinking.
It’s funny how something that sways back and forth can make me feel so balanced. But it does, somehow. And I’m really so happy I went.