Wednesday, September 26, 2012


One of the first things my kids noticed when we got out of the car at the farm was a rope hanging from this enormous tree.
How many generations has this tree sheltered?  How many years has it been standing there?

 How many times have errant branches been pruned or blown free by the wind? How many birds nested within?  What else could it tell me?

My kids were oblivious to the stories lurking in its rings.  All they cared about was the rope swinging in the breeze . . .
From the looks of the hardware attaching the rope to the tree, this swing had been in place for many years, but now that all the children had grown up and moved away, the swing had been neglected--no wooden seat, just a lonely loop of rope blowing in the wind.

Kids don't care about things like wooden seats.  Kids just love to swing.  And from their first moment of freedom, they would seek out the rope and swing back and forth, this time moving it with kid power.

The three little kids were tired from traveling the first day, so I required even Micah to have quiet time.  Lily took advantage of being alone for the first time in a week by heading outside to the enticing shade with a book, a blanket and pillow, and a snack.  I busied myself with the last of the unpacking, straightening up, and reading in the quiet house.

Thirty minutes later, I looked out the window and found Lily's blanket deserted.  I walked out the door and saw Lily hunched around the rope with a stranger next to her.  Slightly alarmed, I hurried across the dirt road to see who was talking to my daughter.  As I got closer, I realized that while Lily was twisting up in the rope to spin around, her waist-length hair had gotten tangled around and around and around the seatless rope, and since she was cinched up to her scalp, she couldn't extricate herself.  The gas surveyor had driven by, and seeing her crazy predicament, he stopped to help her. No scissors were needed, and that made Lily even more grateful for his help.

The next morning after breakfast, the boys came running into the house, exclaiming, "There's a seat on the swing!"  Mark, the farmer and owner, had heard about Lily's hair experience and had notched a small board, creating a seat just for my kids.
The tree swing transformed many times during our three weeks at the farm.  It was the Millennium Falcon, an escape pod, Hogwarts, Half-Blood Hill, an airplane. It was the center of family discussions and a few small skirmishes.

Even I got on it a few times.
Who can resist such a swing?
As the kids got braver, they ventured down the road to a new swing, a tire swing.
Although fun, it couldn't take the place of the long rope swing hitched to an upper branch of the ancient tree.
Whenever I think of the farm, as long as I live, I will remember that swing and the simple double-notched seat placed there out of the kindness of a near-stranger's heart.

Linking up to S with Jenny Matlock this week.
Jenny Matlock


  1. Hi Denton Family,
    So enjoyed meeting some of you this morning, the swing looked like huge fun, apart from Lily's entanglement. so glad she was released without being hurt.
    Have a great week.

  2. love tree swings. Now I want to get ours back up and running.

  3. I bet that swing was more fun than any stupid old video game. I'm glad they all had such a good time.

  4. Hi Jen ~~ I like your family travels. That is good for the kids to know their land better.

    I also like your find for the "S" word. One thing worried me about that swing, those old ropes up in the tree. I was somewhat relieved when I saw the picture with you on the swing, the ropes are fairly strong!!!

    I can no longer eat nuts, corn, or seeds because doctors. orders. And my stomach has lost it hurting since then. Thank you for your comment about that.

  5. that looks like a lot of fun. I'm wondering, how many swings hung for that one tree... {:-D

  6. Glad that Lily is okay and still has all of her hair. I LOVE the side photo of you and Evie on the swing! The genuine look of happiness on your face is fabulous!!

  7. Swings back many great childhood post. and fun to see pics of you too!

  8. Ahhh...

    Thank you.

    Thank you for taking me back to happy memories and simpler times.

    Your children will remember this splendid swing encounter FOREVER!

    They will be talking about it 50 years from now!

    And you got to see when it happened!

    This is an absolutely special post.

    My heart is smiling.

    Thank you again!