Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

The rope swing

Everyone has a moment or two of childhood liberation. When I was five, our best friend Barry's dad had put up a rope swing hanging from a tall branch of a tall hardwood tree in their back yard. He then attached a sort of "bag" of "tow sacks" to the bottom of the rope, giving the "swinger" something upon which to wrap arms and legs. I rememember many warm evenings, being tossed SO HIGH on that swing. The swing would seem to go upward into infinity before it began a rapid, intoxicating downward descent. To swing on that swing was to scale the gates of heaven themselves, and then swim through the rivers of golden honey on the other side.

I have another childhood liberation memory. One Christmas, I received as my key gift the Vrrroom bicycle. This bike was an ordinary bike, but it had a faux plastic heavy frame, mimicking a motorcycle. It even came with a battery operated "engine", which only made the "vrrrooommmm" noise, and served no functional purpose.

Somehow I left this bike in the rain, and it rusted mightily. It then became poor "first bike" fodder. It was heavy and unwieldy for a 6 year old. One night, though, we were on our friend Barry's front sidewalk with his parents, my parents, Barry and my siblings. Barry showed us how he could ride his bicycle, which was a simple child's one speed. I was offered the chance to try to ride it. I hopped on, and as if by magic I could ride a bike. I rode it down a sidewalk down a mild incline, as if I were a professional bike rider, albeit a professional with no idea how to brake a bike at the bottom of a hill. From that moment on, I could ride a bike.

I'll bet everyone has those "yes!" moments once or twice in a childhood. What are yours?

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