By Joan Clayton
A porch swing is a gift of relaxation. You can swing and read a book, bird watch, or just watch the world go by.
Sitting in the porch swing with loved ones in the evening made happy childhood memories for me. Enjoying the night air and relaxing in the stillness of it brought calmness to everyone. Stomach ulcers were not heard of.
I believe the porch swing was a great “tranquilizer of a bygone age.” I think it can be today. Who needs a pill if you have a swing?
A swing removes tension while swinging worries away. You hear and see things you never noticed before and a peace begins to happen. Let it.
I like a swing that creaks. It reminds me of the creaking of my grandmother’s windmill. As I kept my swing going to the rhythm, I lulled myself into a deep sleep and awakened the next day in Granny’s feathered bed.
Swinging in a swing brings back memories of childhood joys, playgrounds, school bells and second-grade students who wanted me to swing or jump rope.
I remember the old tire swing my grandfather hung for me. From my swing I dreamed of my knight in shining armor, carrying me away on his big white horse.
Only the aroma of gingerbread cooking from Granny’s kitchen could budge me from my swing.
I like to think of a Scripture as I swing. For healing, I remember Isaiah 53:5: “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
For a need, I read Philippians 4:19: “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
For anxiety, Psalm 91 comes to mind: “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”
It is remarkable how peace comes when lost in the Scriptures and in swinging.
So now my beds aren’t made and my dishes aren’t done. I sit and swing with grandchildren as I did with my own children. They feel the peace too, as we sit and do nothing but swing … back and forth, enjoying the moment.
As we used to sit in the swing and watch our own children play, we now sit and eagerly watch for our sons and their families to come driving down our street. We swing and pray for their safe arrival.
Words cannot describe our feelings when our children turn the corner and drive into our driveway. Swinging in our swing brings great anticipation and we can hardly wait for hugs and kisses.
After supper, we go outside and take turns swinging with those sitting in lawn chairs.
After the weekend visits are over and the tearful goodbyes are said, I go back to the swing with prayers for a safe trip home.
A swing is the best investment you can make. My best ideas and creative efforts have come from relaxing in my swing. For me, swinging puts things in perspective.
In this rush-hurry world we desperately need a time to stop, relax and enjoy life, to savor the moment, to make life the best it can be.
One of the many reasons I like “The Andy Griffith” show is the porch swing. It depicts a simple lifestyle sitting in the swing after “supper.” Conversation, guitar playing and singing from the old porch swing is a slice of Americana that I never want to let go, a time when family, friends and church displayed the strength of America.
Go ahead! Buy a swing. And then swing. I find early morning and evening are the best swinging times.
Swinging makes me happy.
You can be happy too.
Portales resident Joan Clayton is a retired teacher and published author. Her e-mail address is: