Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Swinging lends itself to pondering. The old swing set behind the Kishacoquillas elementary school looks perfect for daydreaming away an hour on the hot breath of summer. Can you hear the rusted chains screeching in rhythm?

The Indian’s outstretched arms have born the weight and responsibility of countless little children. Though he now flakes faded paint, exposing more and more of his metal surface to the weather, he still smiles

Kishacoquillas was an Indian chief whose name means “the snakes are all in their dens.” It makes sense that a chief would carry such a name. If the snakes are all in their dens, it is safe to be out and about.

Perhaps the children called this swing set, made like a big metal Indian, Kishacoquillas, since it provided a safe place for them to play. I wonder how many boys and girls have scrambled onto the swings dangling from the arms of Kishacoquillas? How many have pumped back and forth, back and forth to gain speed and then, as the swing reached its apex, let go of the chains and flew out landing feet first in the grass? How many have twisted the swing around and around and then let it go in a dizzying twirl that left the rider stumbling like a drunken sailor?

The ground beneath the swings now sprouts a bit of grass—a sure sign of abandonment. The feet, that kept the dirt packed hard and that wore away anything daring to take root, will no longer push off twice a day during recess.

Kishacoquillas longs to be of use again and to hear the shouts and squeals of happy children. Now is the time to linger here, allowing the to-and-fro, to-and-fro of the swing to lull you into contemplation. Where do your thoughts lead you?

©2011 Pamela D. Williams