Again, I struggle with ego. I don’t yet know it, as I stand cleaning the reflective silver lenses of my goggles. Ankle deep in cool water. I am instead aware of the exhilaration within. This third day of water glimmering smooth green blue. Of warm penetrating sun on my back. I stand, fascinated by the green gel around me. How the earth’s skin can be so perfect.
In the middle of the beach area. The ropes, floats gone, I find Ego. An older swimmer waded waist deep. To my left. More ready to swim than I, still adjusting the new goggle fit.
He plunges. I watch his grey strand hair massed amongst his google strap, float for a moment before it streams in harmony with his body, an arrow reaching forward.
Presently, I am ready. Not too far behind I make it my goal to catch him up. His long sinewy body. Withered skin housing muscles of aged lean male strength. He must be ten years senior to me. And I know that aerobic fitness can fail as age creeps up on it. So Ego thinks I can catch him up.
I increase the churn of my arms. Feel the muscle of shoulders, back, work into my stroke. Become a stream of swift silver line as I watch the green world of goggles: water, forrest, and sky, turn and blow, water, forrest, and sky. I pretend to myself I am comfortable at this pace. Sensing the breath held inside my ballooning lungs ready to explode before every blow.
I cannot catch him up enough to pass. I inch closer to his heels. Watching the green magic of goggle reflection spray tiny pearls of silver light off his kicking. Feeling the cold creeping into waters I swim into. The churning of the deep dark below by paddling arms.
Then I realize the game I have made. Ego churning water into spray. I think.
Why, when teenage distress has stretched taut the skin across my goggle line these days past, and pressure in my skull already long sour throbs. Why am I letting Ego push me further and further into this?
I think of the lesson I am teaching teenage distress about taking care of herself. Listening to her body when it is yelling …stop…
Where does she get it from?
I ask Ego.
Not letting go for fear of letting down.
Is this what I teach my child?
I slow and feel the swell behind older faster feet. I let him go. I pull back on Ego. And continue to mine the story of my muscles for the freedom of water.
Then I remember what I have forgotten today, so bound in Ego I was.
A very dear friend and inspiring spiritual healer is asking for prayers. She faces the threat in her body of foreign takeover and requests intentions for her healing.
Healing in blue light.
I am in a sea of green and pearls of silver white. I am but small in this water world, in the smooth sheen green blue earth. I am insignificant. Lacking power in my body and spirit and mind.
So I envisage the calm countenance of the Buddha. The features not stretched with pain and problem of ego, of suffering. Instead woven in the pale gold of sunlight. Stillness. Perfect contentment.
I feel my friend. I feel her pain and fear in my body, the womb of her and the womb of me in the womb of Walden deep. And I ask the Buddha so hard and so strong, thinking blue light for her as a signal for her healing.
When I do this I realize I have discovered my power.
I find power to surge my body like a stream liner across blue green. The power of wanting for her wellness fuels me.
I am now that source of strength that I cannot call forth in my body when Ego drives me.
So I source the stream of my body across water not once reaching shore but back and forth from green of forrest to sand of shore three times.
So wretched am I that Ego first fueled me. Not compassion.
And now with compassion as my guide.
I am able.