Walden Chronicles IX – Overcoming Obstacles

I’ve been giving myself excuses. Allowing fear and lethargy to get the better of me. I ask myself… WHY? Spring into summer is usually the time I look forward, eager to engage in fresh life as it bursts out of winter’s sleep.


Some say I think too much. Sometimes I think those migraines, the ones I’ve been meeting in the pond, swimming into and around, are nature’s way of sending me a warning to stop thinking. Stop over-thinking.

On Friday, I stopped thinking about swimming. I JUST DID IT. Do you sometimes find the threat of something being taken away makes you want it all the more? The weather forecast told me if I didn’t do it then….

The temperature, touching seventy was going to fall into the fifties by Saturday. True, the clouds threatened rain, but they had been like that, (and they had been saying thunder) all week.

Reaching into the sleeve of my wetsuit to pull the tight fitting neoprene right-side-out, something inside me feels familiar. I know this territory. I like the feel of neoprene. It embraces me. I feel sleek. It might be too many years since I have worn a sleek black dress, but a wetsuit still makes me feel good. I walk across the road to the pond and two women ask me what I am doing. “Swimming.” They wonder if I swim every day. I respond “I wish.” And in that minute I do wish. I wish I had overcome these fears of the physical body I have been harboring beneath my skin, my scalp. I wish I felt the youthful carefree capacity to act like I used to and deal with the consequences. Instead of weighing up the pros and cons and balances of this and that knowing what was coming and might be coming and the forever reasoning that ended up in only stopping any action that might be forthcoming anyway.

I wish.

When I got to the beach, the stone wall, I knew I did not have time to procrastinate. This is at least a trick and I can use against myself. Time is short, so I plunge.

Plunge. Swim. The water is not overly cold though it enters between my wetsuit and my swimsuit and I feel it’s creeping. I practice observing without labeling. Then I catch something else. Some thing that is so captivating that every other thought and feeling shifts into background.

In the grey sky day, the grey pond water, the bubbles, the blowing breathing rhythm, the left right of the arms, the scissor legs and flip flip feet, there is a symmetry, a monotony that is meditation.

I had forgotten how the brain likes calm. The shut down of the senses, bland grey visuals, bubble blow and splish splash audibles, the rhythm of the breath like the left right arms and flip flip feet.

I had forgotten how much I liked to swim.


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