It’s 7:00 in the morning. The dew is still heavy on the early Kansas sunrise. I’m driving and off to my right I see a swing set and a woman, not a child or a young girl, swing in the early morning light. I can see her back. She is pumping hard as I pass by. She has a sweatshirt tied around her waist. Her long black hair falls quietly on her back.

I have driven past her and I glance back, and I wonder.

            A woman on a swing at 7:00 a.m.
            Are there tears in her eyes as she
            pumps her legs and seems to stare straight ahead,
            looking into the distance at something or
            at nothing at all.
 
            A woman on a swing at 7:00 a.m.
            What’s going through her mind as
            her legs pump a rhythm to the song
            that runs on a loop in her interrupted
            sleep and that brought her to a swing set
            and the early morning struggle with life.
 
            A woman on a swing at 7:00 a.m.
            If she is weeping, for what does she cry,
            a lost love, a lost child, a lost job or
            is it a dream that has fallen apart and
            taken flight to a place where it can
            never be recovered or dreamed again.
 
            A woman on a swing at 7:00 a.m.
            Are there tears in her eyes as she
            pumps her legs and seems to stare straight ahead,
            looking into the distance at something or
            at nothing at all.
 
            A woman on a swing at 7:00 a.m.
            If I go back at 10:00 or 11:00 will she
            still be there legs pumping and perhaps
            her heart breaking, from some tear in
            her life’s fabric, a hole that doesn’t seem
            to go away and only gets bigger with     
            each pump of her legs.
 
            A woman on a swing at 7:00 a.m.
            Are there tears in her eyes as she
            pumps her legs and seems to stare straight ahead,
            looking into the distance at something or
            at nothing at all.

We walk by and drive by hundreds of stories, hundreds of people and as we drive or walk by our lives never touching we see but we don’t see the wonder of the life that is there and we find asking the questions about who, what, where and when, too difficult and we don’t say the words.

Pick one thing on your journey today, one thing that you see and imagine and write, write on my friends the stories beckon.

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