Looking Back…Looking Forward…

My visit to the pond this week becomes both a reflection and an anticipation…

With these warm days, I am drawn to visit, and if my schedule doesn’t allow it, I at least plan…

I start to think about my wetsuit. Soon enough, I know I will be scheduling swimming into my day. The water temperature at the beach was fifty degrees on Wednesday.

It won’t be long now.

I have been working on a chapter for the memoir I am writing. A piece about Walden. Swimming. Back in July 2010, to the time before my life plunged into disarray, when one of my twelve year old twin daughters was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia…

I glanced over the wooden fence. Through the scrubby undergrowth, the untidy garlands of tree limbs, bark strips and leaves and into the sparkling water. The sun was dancing silver pencil lines across the pond. Waves raced towards the beach. I knew that wind. It was going to be tough going out today.

I loved these swims. The challenge of pushing my body against the water as it smashed my goggles. Lifting my head, my mouth open ready to take in a breath of sky, and instead my face awash with sea and watery foam. Gasping to recover without losing the rhythm of my stroke.

I remembered days when I had come to the pond bringing mind struggles, frustrations, beating them against the power of the wind tide. Embracing the pulsing onslaught of wind water, knowing that when I reached the other side of the pond, I would suddenly become aware that I was swimming in perfect calm. My mind calm too. The struggle would have left a sense of quiet in my muscles. I would be gliding in a mirror.

The wind sheltered pond surprised me. My stroke suddenly felt super-womanly. The pull of each arm as it thrust water, my hand, my paddle turning out and away from my hip as it rolled. My body slid sideways to increase it’s torque through the water. My legs, my feet, I always considered my lower body to be stronger, seemed to float behind. I would occasionally kick, especially if I felt my legs sinking.

I was always conscious of my body position in water. I loved the feel of gliding that fine line, the dividing line between water and sky. There was magic in that line.

I just wanted to swim. I just wanted to feel the water on my skin. I wanted to glide, to feel the surge of my body along the cream of it, to feel it slide by me, releasing hold of any surface tension it might have possessed, that I might possess, swallow me up inside it.

I slid in, taking my first breath. Sighing, relaxing my muscles into it’s weightlessness. Then I bought my head up and swish, a mouthful of wave hit me in the face.

Today was an opportunity to feel my power.photo


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