My family used to own a little cabin on a little lake in Wisconsin. And that little cabin had a front porch that looked out upon the little lake. And in that little porch was a little swing. If I ever had to pull a Happy Gilmore and "go to my happy place," I think I would mentally go back to sit on that little swing, its wood smoothed by coats of paint and years of gliding. The porch was screened with wire mesh, so the mosquitos were kept out, but the gentle Northwoods breeze, scented with pine, would blow in. When it rained, you could feel a gentle spritz as the drops hit the screen. The little swing's metal chains creaked upon their hinges anchored to the ceiling. Back and forth. Back and forth. Back and forth. I loved to take a stack of books, ferried across state lines from my hometown library, and read on that swing until the sun went out and the porch light went on and my Dad wandered down to the little wooden pier to fish for bluegill or rock bass or the errant walleye in pitch black.
I haven't been back to that little cabin to sit on the little swing for ten years, but it's still one of the happiest places I've known.
This is the porch swing at my parents' new house, and it made me remember the little Northwoods swing from all those years ago. I hope to get a swing for our front porch this summer, so I can sit with a book and glide back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.