I was walking home after my shift finished at 12. The air was so mild, sunlight dappled by the huge gumtrees overhead, moving in the cool breeze. I saw the swingsets, which I walk past every day.
Maybe it was the breeze, or the chilled sounds of triple J coming from the air-conditioning repair blokes’ ute parked nearby (I still don’t know their names). Maybe I was just feeling whimsical. But instead of going straight home for lunch, I sat down and started to swing.
As I got higher, I closed my eyes and relived that feeling of being weightless, like when I used to swing as a kid.
When I opened my eyes again, I was so high. I was as high as you could get. I leaned way back and kept my eyes open as the ground rushed away from me. I always used to do that. Hella headspin but it was always worth it for the rush, as it was this time.
My next-door neighbour walked past with his possy, but we didn’t say hi to each other. I felt slightly foolish for swinging, so I didn’t acknowledge him, and maybe he figured I was in the zone and didn’t want to interfere.
After I had been going for a while, I started to feel it in my stomach muscles. I thought, Oh wow, this will be great for my abs, especially after that Pilates I did last night.
This is the problem with being a grownup. You don’t do something just because it’s fun. You start to think about ‘but what am I ACHIEVING?’
I told myself I would just keep going until the end of the song that was playing out of the ute. I only had about fifteen minutes to eat lunch and then head back to school to do an interview. The song kept going on, though, it was a really atmospheric one, there were lyrics but they were in a language I didn’t know. I liked that though. It meant I could enjoy the words without having to understand them.
The song finally changed and I said, at the end of this song I’ll stop. This new song was also atmospheric and calming. The words were in English but I couldn’t catch them, just one phrase that kept coming back. “Going home” “I’m going home.”
I am going home, I thought, and I looked around at the beautiful surroundings as the cool air rushed up my skirt, rendering me momentarily immodest. Why am I leaving just at the start of the dry season?
I found myself slowing down with each swing, without really making the decision to stop. Like my body was telling me, I’m ready, it’s time now.
So as my swings got shorter I dug my heels in at each pass until I was stopped. Picked up my hat and bag and went home, where I had five minutes to eat lunch get organised and go do that interview.
1 Yes I’m very privileged to be able to do that in the first place.