Swinging—back and forth, back and forth. Sitting on a swing has always been, for me, a moment of bliss. It has been a way to relax, unwind, reflect, and sometimes to have incredibly intimate conversations with friends and family. I can recall great moments on the swing set in elementary school, laughing and spending time with friends, carefree and easy. I recall in the early months of building my relationship with my now husband, special conversations while spent on a swing set near a trail that we often hiked in the evenings. Experiencing my first Arizona harvest moon with him while slowly swinging is just one special memories of those years. As a new mom, I remember many moments on swing sets with Colin, having great conversations as well as a lot of laughs. Etched in my memory for what I hope is forever is spending time with my parents on the “singing swing” at our family cottage.
When we open our new HAVEN Community Center later this year, an important feature of the new playground will be a swing set. Sure it will be lots of fun for the children who stay at our emergency shelter but it will also have a significant therapeutic impact. Kids, and many adults, express their feelings often through play and art. Imagine the conversations about fear and anger of the past and future, the calming nature of swinging back and forth during a troubling time. Imagine a child talking about having to start a new school, of having to testify during court and sharing details of the abuse they witnessed. Then imagine a couple of kids laughing and just being kids. All on a simple swing set.
This Valentine’s Day, we collectively will spend millions on cards, candy, and flowers. Nice sentiments for those we love. Let’s consider a slightly smaller box of candy this year and make a contribution to HAVEN’s swing set, giving a child a moment of peace, a moment of bliss on a swing. Click here to give children in our community what they want and deserve most—a childhood that is safe and fun.