A Tire Swing Story is a bite-sized "imagining" inspired by an object I discover while wandering. It could be a curbside trash gem or a message sprayed on a wall. A lost mitten, or an antique store find. Anything goes. I photograph the object and post them together, the story and its inspiration. There will be a new story every Monday and Wednesday. On Fridays, I'll discuss writing, life, love, and coffee. (In no particular order and maybe all at once.)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Photo by Greg Blanchette
A woman arrives at the beach at dawn. She settles beneath a shore pine and takes a large camera from her bag. She peers through the viewfinder, studying the landscape. 


It's been such a long time. Thirty-one years I have waited for him to return. Thirty-one years I've been hoping to see him walking up this beach. I've got a camera now. My sister bought it for me to take photographs of birds, but it's not the birds I come here to look for. 

Samuel Bellow. We were young when we met. His family was vacationing nearby. Sam and I only had two weeks together, but time can fool you. Lifetimes can pass in a single night. 

Through the lens I see a man walking along the beach wearing a red jacket and a ball-cap pulled low over his face. I gasp and my hands begin to shake. It's him. 

I leave my camera dangling from the tree branch and hurry to the shore, picking my way over the sharp rocks. 

I am out of breath when I reach him. I feel faint, as if my knees might buckle. Then he does the most unbelievable thing. He lifts his hat and smiles. 

"Morning, Nora," he says. 

"Sam," I gasp, "you remember me?"

"Course, Nora. How could I forget?" 

I can't help but blush, and a giddy feeling overtakes me, as if not a moment has passed.

"You came back," I say.  


I don't mind it so much. She's a harmless little thing. I've been doing my morning walks for some time now and she's here every day. And each day, without fail, she thinks I'm someone from her past. At first, I tried to set her straight, telling her, "no, ma'am, I'm Rob Gillie, moved here from Winnipeg," but she never could remember from one day to the next. 

So I started being Sam. And why not? She's at peace to have found him, just for the time it takes for her to forget again.  

A person's happiness is a fragile thing. Why would you want to break it?


  1. Very touching. almost heartbreaking.

  2. Britt. I don't even know what to write. that is so touching. so beautiful. so sad. thank you for writing.

  3. I cried Britt. I totally cried...