Monday, August 1, 2011
Of Teeter Totters and Oak Trees
I took this photo when I was up at Bell Springs this weekend. The image makes my mind stop and my eyes water. It speaks to so many things: innocence, serenity, balance, simplicity, passage of time, pieces of life that are beyond my grasp. I remember a time when the kids played out there and the adults sat on the deck and marveled at the views. Now those kids are sitting on the deck drinking tequila and I am watching them with curiosity.
There is an innocence attached to this photo that is poignant and tender. Children used to play on the hillside, under the oak trees. Their world was a secure one, full of imaginary heros and crooks. There were safe adults everywhere to kiss the bruises and tell them that everything was going to be okay. And maybe they believed it.
The teeter totter also speaks to balance, to ups and downs in life. It suggests trust. I remember riding on homemade teeter totters as a kid and whatever brother was on the other side would delight in holding me hostage at the top and bouncing me around because he could. And, frankly, generally speaking, I liked it too. I liked being suspended up there, bouncing around five or six feet above the ground - a bit of a safe thrill for a thrill seeking kid. Now the ups and downs in life are serious business. The willingness to take chances, to risk falling, is much more complicated than a homemade teeter totter. Back then, silly me would trust that the brother would not drop me (and usually I was right). But the world today bounces that suspended body all over and there is no telling when it will decide to drop me.
This photo represents the peacefulness of Bell Springs. There is something quietly tender about that place. It encompasses family and the best of what the Earth has to give us. If there is a god, he/she can be found here. When I go there, I can hear myself think. I can breathe. I can be innocent and know, if only for a weekend, serenity. I need to go there more often.