Where do you go for rest and refreshment? I’ve found one of my best places to leave the busy world behind and soak in the beauty of the day is on an old-fashioned swing.

Heel, toe. Heel, toe. Heel, toe.

Amazing, how such a small, controlled movement puts the swing in motion. Heel, toe. Heel, toe. Heel, toe. It’s a matter of moments before my heart rate matches the rhythm of the swing, my spinning thoughts calm, and my tense muscles relax. I’ve entered another realm. A realm where it is enough to simply “be,” leaving the world of “doing” behind.

Grandpa Terry taught me about this other world, on the porch swing that hung from a limb of the horse chestnut that towered over the back yard of Grandma and Grandpa’s house on Grand Avenue. As a 5-year-old, I wanted that swing to buck like a real horse. My legs were too short to get it going on my own. But Grandpa had his own way of making that swing move. Heel, toe. Heel, toe. Heel, toe. Tiny movements of his feet set that old swing to rocking, until I felt as relaxed as a baby in a cradle. At five, that wasn’t all bad. And when Grandpa let me run my hand over his silvery-smooth crew cut, it was even better.

Since the beginning of the summer I’ve been determined  to finish the young adult novel I’ve been working on for the past two years.

Here it is, the first day of autumn, and I’ve written nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zip. Frustration has been mounting, little by little.

The swing keep calling my name. I bring my journal, my Bible, and a cup of tea. I sit. Heel, toe. Heel, toe. Heel, toe. Two days ago, God met me on the swing overlooking the wildflower field, and whispered sweet nothings in my ear. Sweet nothings that had nothing to do with “producing.” The Spirit’s whisperings had everything to do with simply “being.”

Today, the Lord met me at the swing again. “Look around,” he whispered. “There’s beauty everywhere.”  Heel, toe. Heel, toe. Heel, toe. With each easy pump of the swing my frustration level lowered along with my heartbeat. Swooping yellow finch, chattering hummingbird…

“So where’s the frustration?” the Spirit whispered with a smile on her face.

The Holy Spirit always knows what I need. She knows I need rest and refreshment. She knows I need good friends and unconditional love. She knows I need to be surrounded by beauty. And so she calls me to the gentle rhythm of a swing that brings back memories of lazy afternoons on the swing with Grandpa, and the feel of his silvery-soft hair under my five-year-old hands.

Heel, toe. Heel, toe. Heel, toe.



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