Eyes closed, I feel the world blurring around me. The wind cools and caresses my skin. Gravity has no meaning. I soar; I fly, I escape the world below. I open my eyes and savor the sight of the sky rushing to meet me, and the transitory sorrow when it recedes.
The smell of fresh cut grass, leaves wet from last night’s rain, even the tang of weather roughened metal chains take me into a timeless moment. One that never changes, regardless of my age. I lean back, legs and arms stretched to help my body slice through the air, striving to get higher, go faster.
I believe I can launch myself into the clouds if only I gather enough speed. I pull my limbs in, protecting myself from the disappointment of sliding back toward the earth, only to fling them out again. Hope springs eternal. Maybe this time I can reach the heavens, dance with angels and lost loved ones among the gloriously lit swirls floating across the skies.
I retreat from my goal one last time, determined to reach my destination. The swing hits its pinnacle and I let go. My body soars upward and stops. For a split second I hang there. My arms windmill, hands reaching for something to pull myself closer to the clouds.
The fall is heartbreaking. Frightening. Exhilarating. I land in a crouch, softening the impact. My hands dig into the damp dirt, releasing its earthy scent, the spongy feel of it brings me back to the present. The chain creaks as the empty swing twists. I close my eyes and I can feel the world slowing around me.