It was yesterday when the pond was cleared for swimming. Sometime between the time I arrived when the red triangular “no swimming” flag was still flapping in the breeze at the car park entrance and when I finally got down to the beach to ask the lifeguards about the water quality. It was then I was told they had just retested it and received the all clear. The bacteria levels had fallen to below the threshold above which was deemed to be a health risk.
Given the time elapsed between these two markers was probably almost an hour I look back and acknowledge that as insignificant as this all is, my belief in the fact that things always happen for a reason had just been rekindled. On my first attempt to go down to the beach I bumped into an old friend who was struggling up the ramp limping, a jacket over her bathing suit and a fold up chair under one arm. I stopped to say hello and asked if I could help her up to her car with the chair. At first she refused but we started talking and walking up the ramp towards the car park and she told me what had been going on for her since I had last seen her. Her story ended with recalling an unfortunate accident during a yoga class which left her with a fractured femur. When we were talking about swimming she told me she noticed they had been testing the water just as she was leaving the beach.
When I put my swim suit and wetsuit on (the water wasn’t any warmer since the rain had ceased) and finally pushed off from the sandy beach it felt wonderful. I realized I had been doubly blessed. Not only was the sensation of sliding through the water soothing, possessing a magical quality I hadn’t noticed for a while but I also knew but for the chance meeting and conversation with my friend, I would have been too early for the results of the water testing to have been known, and most probably have been told it was still not recommended that I swim.
I had been humbled not only by the force of nature, the rains causing run off into the pond which had bought with it bacteria from vegetation but also by some other force I do not know how to name.