Quite a few years ago, the children, dogs and I moved into a cozy, white ranch house. The backyard had several beautiful, mature trees. First thing the kids wanted was a tire swing.
I moved us into that ranch house when I filed for divorce, when I was dismantling the children’s family unit. It should have been a disaster, but it wasn’t. Of course there were difficult moments, but the kids and I, our friends, and family had a wonderful time there. We celebrated birthdays, graduations, dragged Christmas trees home, got a puppy (our dog Grace), had bonfires, Ice Cream Sundae every Sunday—all and all, it was a joyful, happy home. Yes, we moved there as part of an ending. But it was also the start of a new beginning, a new adventure. I’ll always associate that home with the tire swing the children shimmied up the tree and gleefully installed just after we moved in.
Most people have a tire swing story from childhood. Many have installed one for their children, or grandchildren. Swings are a childhood staple. They elicit happy memories of lazy summer days, outdoor play, lighthearted fun, and innocent joy from Perfectly-imperfect childhoods. And that is why I think people of all ages have identified with “Childhood,” my whimsical tire swing on canvas.
“Childhood” was created with my beach finds; twisty driftwood branches, pale teal beach glass, copper wire, and a small, black rubber “tire.” It is soft, soothing, and a little bit whimsical. I’m planning to have it professionally scanned early next week, and should have a limited number of prints available soon.
When I created “Childhood,” I thought of the cozy white ranch house, my children. But it also reminded me of tire swings of my youth and had me looking forward (hopefully) to the grandchildren that might be part of my future.