The dream swing on a sunny summer evening. PHOTO: EMMA BOYNE

It’s a beautiful summer evening, the sun is setting and children are laughing and splashing in the river. I’m sweating and breathing hard, wiping the glistening drops that are running into my eye. My friend Mike walks beside me, a bag of cherries in one hand and sunglasses in the other, unable to see through their filmy screens. That’s when we reach it: the spot. 

Underneath a large tree older than the neighbourhood, sits a homemade wooden swing, painted blue like the sky and dotted with daisies. When you swing, you feel as if you’ll fly, soaring over the edge of the hill that leads to Sandy Beach park

We all have them. Places in the city that bring us joy, big and small. In an era of chaos, Calgary Journal editors have taken time this fall to reflect on the public spots that bring us happiness and peace.
You can read the whole series here.

Ever since I can remember, the swing has sat in the same spot, rain or shine, only repainted once when the old paint was chipping. Every summer I would bring a few friends to climb the tree and sit in the branches, to swing on the swing and laugh at recent gossip and what was new in our lives. 

The best part: it’s a neighbourhood secret. Hidden in the forest on the far right of the Britannia ridge, there is a path that walks down to a large tree, the swing only viewable from a few feet away. 

The thing about the swing, about all hidden treasures, is how they remind us of who we are. Day to day lives get busy, the work piles up, and yet those little happy memories are waiting for us to open them up and remind ourselves of them. 

While my little swing may not mean much to you, there is a reminder to take time to think about a place that you miss, one that feels like home. News has become so dark, so hard to consume that many feel as if it’s reporting on the world’s end. So take this news, about my little happy place, and go find yours. 

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