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The Swing Set

There are things disappearing from our lives. Over the last thirteen years they’ve moved in and made themselves at home. Now some are MIA. Gone. They were there, I blinked, they were only a memory.

Pieces of my boys’ childhood are fading and then are gone entirely. Can things change so much in one year? Apparently, yes they can.

Our backyard is empty for the first time in a very long time. We sold the swing set. It really wasn’t used for swinging. Instead it had become an apparatus for boys-who-think they-are-invincible-and-can’t-get-hurt tricks. Before someone broke their neck, the swing set needed to go.

I can’t say I’m sorry. Not just because of the injury factor, either. We bought it a couple of months after moving here to replace the one we’d left behind at our old house, in another city. I never really liked it. Neither did my youngest son. We both still mourned what we’d left behind and the new swing set only served as a reminder of loss. The fun had on that old swing set. Watching my boy out the kitchen window, swinging fast and high, lost in a world of make-believe. The large yard and the big maple tree that sheltered the swing set and sand box like a big hug, keeping the hot rays of the sun off the kids. I don’t think my son or I will ever get over losing that.

For me, I feel guilty about taking that away from him, way too soon. I know I should get over it but…

My youngest son looking at the For Sale sign on our old house.  His posture says it all.

So I can’t say I was sorry to see the swing set go. I was happy that a little family was taking it and it is going to be enjoyed so much now.

As my husband and I stood, looking at the empty space in the yard, we thought about the possibilities of what could be. The empty space was rather freeing, I thought. Always a gardener, my husband had a few ideas. I’ll let him go to it.

Although the swing was a reminder of things left behind in another time and space, perhaps the empty space is a way of making room for something new. I thought I could replace the old swing set with a new one but I couldn’t. My son just never adjusted. He didn’t play on it like he did the one in Windsor. It wasn’t the same nor should it have been. Some things are just too priceless to be replaced.

So four years later, perhaps it’s time to let it go and make room for something new. TURN to the possibilities of new dreams, ideas and fun.

Life is like that too, don’t you think? Sometimes we need to let go of the old for the new. TURN to new dreams, people, ideas and experiences. Dare to let go of the old even though they were once and may still be, precious. Mourn them, yes, but realize they had their time but now it’s time to TURN and move on.  (Move on not replace.)

Making room for whatever new thing God has for us. Opening ourselves; our minds and hearts to something new, different and most likely out of our comfort zones. If things stay the same, they get stagnant. We get stagnant. Stiff. Joints rust.

I’m starting to realize that God sends new relationships, opportunities, jobs, dreams, trials to keep us fresh and alive. To keep us in tune with Him. There’s nothing like something new to get our adrenaline pumping and our senses alert. Change, it’s what I’m really talking about, but there’s something about that word I hate, so we’ll keep going with new, is not necessarily bad. We need to keep that in mind.

Maybe you like change. More power to you I say! But for those of us who struggle with it, maybe a little free space where something used to be, can be a reminder that new can be freeing. New can be life-giving, if we give it a chance.

Eternal One: Don’t revel only in the past,
        or spend all your time recounting the victories of days gone by.
    Watch closely: I am preparing something new; it’s happening now, even as I speak,
        and you’re about to see it. I am preparing a way through the desert;
    Waters will flow where there had been none.
    Wild animals in the fields will honor Me;
        the wild dogs and surly birds will join in.
    There will be water enough for My chosen people,
        trickling springs and clear streams running through the desert.
Isaiah 43:18-20 The Voice