The Swing

The Swing
Britta Teckentrup

This is an absolute jewel of a book: a poetic reflection on the passage of time, at the centre of which is a swing.

The swing stands on a hill overlooking the sea. Said swing had always been there, the narrator tells us ‘… it invited everyone to take a seat.’ It’s a place for meeting, for being alone, a place of joy and laughter; it’s also a place for big decisions and perhaps change – beginnings and endings: somewhere anything and everything is possible. There are pensive moments, playful moments and pour your heart out moments. It’s a place to contemplate and dream about the future.

Friends meet there and so do lovers. It might be a place from which to take flight …

Seasons come and seasons go, bringing with them changes – in the natural world and also in relationships.
Mia and her grandmother would stop and counting carefully, have twenty swings on their daily walk to school and even now as a grown up with a daughter of her own, Mia recalls that swinging and her beloved gran. Precious memories stay with us always.

Little by little the swing grows ever more creaky, battered by storms, until eventually nobody uses it and nobody fixes it. But then, years later, a young man and his son walked by. Another change – a vital one – takes place as the man and other people start a joint restoration …
Childhood, friendship, love and loss are portrayed in Britta’s meditative, exquisitely illustrated collage style scenes. It’s amazing how she communicates so much in what at first appear to be relatively simple, yet quietly powerful, pictures and narrative.

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