The swing is the best place to gather your thoughts. As a homeschooled teenager I used to sit here and write poems and stories and lists and streams of thoughts in my red notebook. If you visit, you'll leave with your mind more at peace.
In the summertime the sunlight warms the wood of the swing and colors the cattails gold. Puffy white clouds float across the brilliant blue sky. You could fall asleep down there, listening to the lazy buzzing of the insects and the soft rustle of a gentle breeze blowing through the reeds.
On warm summer nights the fireflies come out. I remember seeing them down by the swing one time when I was 15 and the song “Fireflies” was still popular. You can look at the fireflies through the window, but it's not the same as watching them float above your head. It's best if you venture outdoors to watch them dance through the trees.
The summer when I was 16 years old, it rained so hard that the pond flooded and I had to climb up the wooden frame to get to the swing. Looking down, I could see the dull green plants still growing under a layer murky water while the water beetles happily skimmed the surface.
The swing sits on the eastern edge of the pond, facing west, so it's the best place to watch a sunset. In the summer you'll hear frogs chirping and if you're lucky, maybe even the wild call of a loon.
I went to high school at home so sometimes my days would start outside, camera in hand. On an early fall morning down by the swing, I discovered a layer of frost over all the plants. One with jagged-edged leaves reminded me of peppermint and I took a photograph I still have today.
The pond is beautiful in the fall, lined with maple trees in all shades of red, orange, yellow, and gold. Directly to the left of the path down is a skinny maple sapling. If you lay on your back on the swing on a clear day, you can see the fiery colored leaves against a brilliant blue sky.
Nights are dark out here without streetlights. But except for around the pond, the trees fill up the night sky and it's hard to see all the stars. If you visit the swing on a clear summer night, you'll see the Big Dipper high in the sky. Come by in the winter to look up at Orion shining down from above.
In the winter I don't go to the swing much. If you look out at the pond from the dining room window, you can see deer crossing the frozen surface through the deep snow. But if you do come down, you'll see the pine trees that line the banks all covered in snow and the white-capped roofs of the wood duck houses poking up amongst the reeds.
It's just far enough north here that sometimes in the mid-winter the northern lights are visible. On the rare nights they do appear, you can find an open patch of sky by the swing. When you've picked your way down the pathway in the dark, look up and you'll see the shifting bands of green glowing in the night.
The most magical times are when it snows and the sun shines at the same time. Once when I was 13, the snow floated gently while the sun set. I went down to the swing and walked out onto the frozen pond. The golden sunlight fell on my upturned face while snowflakes settled on my hair and shoulders.
Spring is slow to come each year but you can always see some of the first signs down by the swing. On a quiet evening when I was 14, I walked across a log in the pond. When I grabbed the branches of a shrub for balance, I noticed that the first buds of spring had already begun to appear.
Forget-me-nots like the low, wet ground near the pond. They always spring up just high enough to brush your toes on when you swing. I'll always remember this place; I hope it won't forget me either.