Garden Swing

Our yet-to-be-born children would rock on this garden swing with their sweethearts one day, my ex-husband and I imagined when we bought it over twenty years ago. The jarrah wood was smooth then, polished a deep and lustrous brown. We bought a can of special oil too on the salesman’s recommendation, fully intending to recoat the swing at least once a year to protect the Australian hardwood, but that oil, like my husband and the dream of children we might have had, is long gone.

Instead the seasons in their turn have done the scouring and burnishing. For the last five years, in the garden I share with a new love, the swing has sheltered under the boughs of a redwood, its base moldering into the rich soil. Needles and cones and industrious spiders have joined the work of sun, wind, and rain to turn the wood rough and gray.

In the spring I brush away the cobwebs and duff and sit down on the old swing. My back nestles against a curve in its back, human spine, muscles, and sinew aligning with wood slats as if we were designed for one another. In the heat of the day the scent of feathery redwood branches mingles with childhood memories of camping in the mountains, and I push my foot against the cushion of forest floor in this little corner of my city garden to set the swing in motion. The rasp of wood in metal rings and bolts echoes the creak of my own joints. Someday I will accept my gray hair and wrinkles as graciously as I do this weather-roughened wood. Someday I will ripen into glory. But for now I glide back and forth with the whispers of those young lovers I dreamed of long ago. For now I am at ease in a moment of sun-softened stillness.

Published by

Mary Camille Thomas

Mary Camille Thomas is a native of Santa Cruz, California who considers herself lucky to be back after living in Davis, Germany, Los Angeles, Holland, and on the road in a motorhome. She is a librarian by profession, and her poetry has appeared in Sisters Singing: Blessings, Prayers, Art, Songs and Sacred Stories by Women. She is is currently working on a novel called Schatz and a collection of poems of the spirit.

9 thoughts on “Garden Swing”

  1. Blessed with such a talent from your Mom & Dad – of their personalities along with your own- sharing that with others is such a blessing
    May God bless you with a long life to bring light to the hearts of others

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  2. How exquisite!
    Your beautiful use of language brings us there to our own lost dreams and weatheredness….and, as well, our deep peace in recognizing the beauties of the present.
    Thank you for writing in your beloved garden swing!

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  3. Lovely writing, Mary! M Thanks for the brief moments swinging in the garden with you between past, ptesent and future. I appreciate your subtle noticings and powerful gift with words.

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