poetry and prose about place

a moment of beautiful – a swing in the orchard

with 18 comments

the space: in the shade of a tree

the beautiful: an old wooden swing

The sight of a swing hanging from the solid limb of an old tree recalls happy hours of swinging when I was a child.

On my grandfather’s farm, the swing was a swing-chair, and I spent hours pushing the old swing to its limits (see ‘in the apple orchard’  the post for August 9, 2011, under the category ‘my grandfather’s farm’).  At home in Ralston, Alberta, the community playground had an adult-sized swing set, strong enough to withstand our approach of ‘stand on the seat and pump’.  And, when my son was little, we had an old-fashioned board and rope swing – it was a little off-kilter and seemed to go side-to-side rather than forward-and-backward but I remember he and I had lots of fun.

My own childhood story about board and rope swings is bitter-sweet.  My Dad built me a swing and hung it from the rafters in the basement of our house in Medicine Hat.  I loved it, but … one day I let go of the ropes and fell backwards, hitting my head on the concrete floor.  I can still remember the intense pain and the big black star that dominated my vision for a moment.  People who know me will say this explains a lot.



swing sway


the old swing

hangs frayed from a limb

of the apple tree


hips as she waits

for the downtown bus

rocking learned

in baby years

when rhythm brought peace

and a quiet evening



© Jane Tims  2012

Written by jane tims

March 31, 2012 at 7:05 am

18 Responses

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  1. Beautiful post & I love the swing chair and the draw… Thanks for sharing. Great blog,

    Aquileana 😉



    October 28, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    • Hi. Welcome to my Blog! I spent a lot of hours in that swing chair. I still imagine a swing in every tree with an outstretched branch. Jane


      jane tims

      October 28, 2013 at 7:30 pm

  2. From one delightful reminscence you gave me so much: a wonderful moment of oh-I-remember-those-swings! to the deeply felt aspect of child/woman in movement and shape, to the ouch and head throb of cement floor and LOL comment of friends about your odd behavior explained – I LOVED this. Amazing poem.



    April 2, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    • Hi. Thanks!!! Sometimes the ideas just connect themselves. Glad you have great memories of swings. Jane


      jane tims

      April 2, 2012 at 7:37 pm

  3. I love swinging, and your post makes me want to put up a swing. I really should do that since I’m a grandma. Good idea, Jane. Thank you. 🙂

    All together wonderful post.



    April 2, 2012 at 3:18 pm

  4. Oh my gosh Jane,,,does this post bring back memories.! Philip and I are bringing “our” memories back to life,,,he just put a wooden swing in our tree for our Grandbabies and we are having a swing made just like the one in your picture. I missed it that much that I just have to have another.! You are adorable in that picture.! I gotta go back to your story and poem cause I forget what else you said,,I got carried away after you took me down memory lane. Ha.! Thanks Jane.! AND YA.!,,,,I “rock” all the time.! And it does come from rocking our babies. Your son must enjoy your posts I hope. patsi.



    April 2, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    • Hi Patsi. Your grandchildren will be lucky to have a swing. I may be inspired to get a swing chair of my own. Jane


      jane tims

      April 2, 2012 at 5:26 pm

  5. Love the poem and the art, Jane.



    April 1, 2012 at 5:03 am

  6. Hi Jane, Your post brings back some bitter-sweet memories for me too. Love your photo and drawing. Your poem has music, and I like how you include different swings and sways and rocking.


    Ellen Grace Olinger

    March 31, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    • Hi Ellen. The memories connected to swinging must be to do with the rhythm, and the music that lives in us all. Jane


      jane tims

      March 31, 2012 at 9:22 pm

  7. This post brings back so many memories… My dad made an old-fashioned board and rope swing for us, too, which he hung from the tallest hemlock tree in our yard. When it broke I landed on the ground hard in a sitting position, and hurt my tailbone! Not as bad as your head on the cement, though!

    Love the willow swing drawing and the picture of you on your grandfather’s swing. Interesting connection between swinging and the swaying of hips in your poem…


    Barbara Rodgers

    March 31, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    • Hi. The poem just flowed out. I still find myself swaying back and forth in a checkout line, a memory of rocking the baby! Jane


      jane tims

      March 31, 2012 at 9:19 pm

  8. My grandparents in southeast Arkansas had a swing similar to this – we loved sitting and swinging as we visited with our cousins and Grandmere and Granddad. Now swings are always included in our yards or porches. Perfect for a warm spring day. Thanks for reminding me of this! All the best, Kathleen


    • Hi Kathleen. We used to pretend the swing chair was a travel machine. We got on at home and when we got off, we were somewhere far away. Great memories! Jane


      jane tims

      March 31, 2012 at 9:17 pm

  9. The fall in the basement sounded nasty.

    I lived in the country when I was growing up. There was a line of mature maple trees, and my dad had installed a large pipe high up running between several trees. Between 2 trees was my swing, between 2 others was my brother’s swing, and between two others was a porch swing. The pipe from which the swings were suspended was a lot higher up than a similar arrangement on a swing set, so we could swing really high. It was wonderful.


    Deb Platt

    March 31, 2012 at 10:44 am

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