I have always loved swings and hammocks. Most Indian homes had one. Great for napping. My response to the gentle rocking and swaying is almost primitive, a return to the womb. Your mama is moving and you sleep. Your mama rests and sleeps and you start kicking. We are born and experience the primal separation from soothing though motion. The planet moves, the moon moves, oceans move. The planets move when your mama moves. Movement is primal to human existence. Rock the baby to sleep. A rocking chair to nurse the baby. Work on the fields when the baby is asleep in a little hammock on the side. Most Indian babies were rocked to sleep in a makeshift hammock made with the mother’s sarees. By the roadside, on the doorstep, on trains and buses, Reinforcing that mama’s smell and movement with which we all gestated.
Porch swings are a different matter altogether. It is not about your family of origin but the family of your making. At least in my mind. When the love of my life and I were initially dating, we ran into an older couple, much older than us, and have been together for a lifetime, on a porch swing by the lake. Drinking champagne together. Their summer routine for decades. Come up to the lake in the summer and celebrate the solstice and their love with champagne. I remember feeling wistful. I would never spend that long with my love, this one or any other. At that moment, I wished I were religious so I could believe I would spend eternity with someone and drinking champagne every summer solstice night even in the clouds.
Although I have lived in this house for almost eight years, I never bought a porch swing. It seemed like something reserved for a settled couple who expected to spend the eternity together. Lazy chaise lounges, yes. A gorgeous plantation chair that reminded me of my childhood, yes, a couch given to me by a favorite professor that I reupholstered and carried thousands of miles, yes. My house is beautifully furnished and every piece has a story and a history. But a porch swing, no. Finally this summer, I bought a porch swing. I don’t know if it is because I feel so settled with my love. But it feels like that.
Yesterday. I was teary eyed and happy because of the historic SCOTUS ruling that #loveislove. I am glad I have my porch swing. I didn’t miss it when I didn’t have it. But now that I have it, I am happy I have it. To love someone and have them loving you back, it is a miracle. Who are mere mortals or some book or anyone to stop those who love (maybe not like us) to stop them having them from having their porch swings? #loveislove. I talked about America’s secret last week. This is also America’s secret. We are open hearted and loving and accepting of other people’s right to lead a life of their choosing. A large percentage of young Americans are supportive of marriage equality. A porch swing is manifest love. Hope and optimism and acceptance. #loveislove.