Monday, July 18, 2011


I am not a natural swimmer. I remember lessons in the impossibly deep pool on Glendon Way - our swimming teacher throwing weighted rings into the depths, instructing each of us how to dive. When it was my turn, I would stand shaking on the side, toes curled over the white rim on the concrete. Arms over head, together. Bend slightly at the waist. Head down. One, two, three: leap.

Except I wouldn't leap. Not immediately. Under the breath there was a second count, a count whispered quietly in shaky whisper. One.... two.... three.... three.... three.... three....

And I would imagine as I counted, the cold shock of the water, the pressure of depth on my body, and the topsy-turvy nonsense of leading deeply into the water with my legs high up over my head.

I thought of my lungs filling with that cold dark water, and a feeling of being trapped at the bottom of the pool while life above the rippled surface soldiered on without me.

I am not a natural swimmer. I sink when others float. My body fights the current that carries others so effortlessly. And the view from the water---- I hate how the line of blue obscures my perspective, makes it impossible to see anything beyond the few feet in front of me.

There is something to be said about those to whom swimming is a second life. Something to learn from them who can embrace the uncontrollable waves and ride them, smiling. There is something to emulate in those who can leap into the darkening depths without worry.

One, two, three...

1 comment:

tearese said...

I know this is more a metaphore than anything. But if you can dive down to the bottom of the pool, you're much more of a swimmer than me. And opening your eyes underwater? Amazing. I still can't stand that feat.