Dresses and a tall swing

” Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do it.”

Proverbs 3: 27
Trying to remember the “tall” swing. I draw in pen because each line is part of the trying! Anything perfect would not convey trying 🤣 The words I write around it are words that come while drawing. There is no way I could draw the detail of aunty Esther’s lovely dresses.
The "tall" swing!
The swing lifting
The body singing
The mind bending on some childish problem
Flying high
Sailing low
clothes caught in the rush of air
Hanging on
Movement strong
The tall swing in full use!

I need to start by saying that all older people, my parents age and above, had to be called aunt and uncle. Aunty Esther was my dad’s older sister and uncle Jack was a good friend of my parents. They didn’t even know each other but they brought me more joy than they will ever know.

Aunty Ester married uncle Tom and had two teenage sons by the time I was six. Her delight was to sew. Usually her own creations. Mum used to measure me: from my waist to my knee, from under my arms to my waist, from my neck to the start of my shoulder, then across my shoulders at the back. This was all done with much care and written down. Mum would then write a letter to aunty Esther who would then send a parcel with a dress or two. Once, I remember saying exactly what I wanted. “A small dog Bonzo appliquéd to the skirt, please.” Well I got a fat golden puppy on a red lead running across a skirt of soft green. Aunty Esther had created something better than I could have imagined. When we moved it was to her city we went and I had four years to spend time listening and talking to aunty Esther , who at the time of receiving the dresses , I didn’t know at all. It was then that I learned to love her as a unique, energetic, creative person.

The country I lived in had predominantly blue skies and sunshine and this is where uncle Jack, my mum and dad’s friend played a role in making me the happiest 6 going on 7-year-old girl I could be.

One day I came home from school to find a very, very high swing drying in cement holes in the garden. I remember it was something I had to wait quite a while to use. There was no quick drying cement those days. Its poles started off dark blue almost navy and as it went higher it changed to a paler blue. It was made by uncle Jack especially for me. He was a black smith and a brilliant welder. Never again did dad have to call out:

” You are going too high!”

“You are going to go over the cross bar!”

Slow down now!”

What a gift of freedom that was!!! Thank you uncle Jack!

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.

John Muir

6 thoughts on “Dresses and a tall swing

  1. I have photos of you on the swing 😀. Weren’t Aunty Esther and Aunty Louise special?! Miss them. They made our lives rich indeed.

    Like

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