New Perspectives: Swings & Playing Can Teach You New Things About Life, Yourself, Others…
This is a post from Adrian Edward, a musician, photographer and a bit of a street philosopher. His take on life has many implications here and that’s why I am “borrowing it” and showing you his “stuff” because this man has a lot going on *inside* than music.
I have yet to meet someone that doesn’t have at least a few good memories with swings. Maybe it was their mom pushing them in the baby swings or that moment that you feel confident enough to stand up and propel yourself towards the sky, wondering if that rumor that Jimmy actually did push hard enough to spin around in a complete circle, was true? Whatever memories flood our mind, there is a similar strand of playfulness that come across all of us.
Unless of course, you were one of the unfortunate few that flew off a swing as you were trying to come down for a safe landing. Then perhaps, your memories aren’t quite so peaceful. If that is you, then today might be a good day to forgive the violent swings and go out to the park to reclaim what is rightfully yours. For the rest of us, read on.
I walked by a park the other day and was pleasantly surprised to see that despite all the technological gadgetry of the present day, the swing has managed to stay in our parks and still make little kids giggle and smile. It’s a simple concept really when you think about it: two ropes holding a horizontal plank that you sit on while you rock back and forth. As far as inventions go, this one ranks at the top of the simple list yet like all beautiful simplicity, the feelings it produces and memories it leaves with us are anything but simple.
I think my favorite part of the swings is that although you can ultimately push yourself if need be, the true art and enjoyment of the swing is to push each other. Typical playground conversations go as follows:
“No, you push me first.”
“I asked you first.”
“Okay, but then we switch.”
“Wait, but for how long each turn?”
“Don’t push me too high.”
“Oh, you’re going high, real high”, you would secretly think in your head but respond with an evil and unassuring “okay.”
Whether it’s the swings, the see-saw or monkey bars, the playground is full of simple devices that are no more complicated than they need to be and yet provide a range and depth of experience that little in our adult life can compare to. Living simply isn’t as easy as it sounds and living simply with such enthusiasm as a day in the park isn’t even less simple but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn.
We’ve been told that sometimes we need to take two steps back to move one step forward. Well, I’m thinking we need to take a few more steps back and start swinging, then we might start getting somewhere.
You don’t even need to ask, I’ll push you first.