Swinging

My first childhood memory is of swinging.  It was winter. I was bundled in a blanket and crammed—carefully, I’m sure—into one of those metal infant swings municipal parks had then, before the days it was considered necessary that every middle-class family possess its own backyard kiddie pool and Jungle Gym.

My family lived in an apartment in Chicago’s Rogers Park; the place my mother took me must have been Portage Park (for years I heard Porridge Park and thought of bland, steaming bowls of mush).

Which did I prefer: the push forward, up into the delirious blue sky almost, or the gut-plummet on the backswing then saved at the last moment?  It had to be both: the thrill of feeling contained yet imperiled, wild and safe.  What is your first memory?

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