the swing

It is cold and dry – barren and heavy with inactivity. In this strange absence for some reason,I remember my childhood days – resplendent, active and busy even in months of winter like these. How far have I traveled to make them my favorite memories? It is hard so say.

A childhood is most often the best part of one’s life – so many things go by but only a few stick around. Things are not a matter of intelligent choices as they are now, but of innocent attraction. Everything is of a smaller scale – the worries, the notions, the preferences. Life is simple. The grown-up world is a tedious affair – so much to look after and preserve and to finally lose – just like winter.

I pass by a swing set. The metal moves, responding to occasional sniff of the icy air. I have spent too many afternoons on something similar – resting and rising higher – showing off – enjoying the breeze on my face – unaware of what it should be versus what it is. There is a big distance between those two phrases. Expectations and disappointments fill this distance. I touch the chains holding the iron basket – it still awaits me. It has not changed a bit in spite of the weather and loneliness but I have. I will no longer fit into it – not just in body but in mind – the limitations are too many; the thinking has not stepped outside the box in a while.

For a moment, a strange thought overwhelms me – I wish to take a ride on this one – to feel the wings I used to have. How high will I go this time? I wonder. Start and figure out – a voice inside my head whispers. I reluctantly hold the base steady and position and pedal myself up. A cool air whips my face, instructing me to stop. I almost pause but the swing goes on – slow yet steady taking me along with it. I soar high with every oscillation – my feet are up stabbing the air; my head is back and hair are loose leaving a small shadow. I look around and smile. I have stepped outside the box and I wish to stay here. Before my eyes, the contours of the box slowly dissolve. I let it go.

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