Lessons From the Pond

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It’s been a gloomy week in and out of the pond.

There have been days I have dragged myself there with only the knowledge of experience that I would feel better if I swam. Today for instance, sitting in a sweater and long pants – the 10th of July, the middle of summer – feeling cold, feeling the unending ache of grief that seems to have eclipsed me lately.

Perhaps when one loses a daughter every other wound, and in this country this past week there have been too many lives lost to violence, too many wounds, are felt more deeply. Yet today, as I sat feeling cold, immobile and grieving…

In the heat of the frenzy days ago when the violence in Baton Rouge and Minneapolis and Dallas erupted, my initial reaction was not to freeze, but to race feverishly to Walden and lose myself to the news of what had been happening by swimming into the middle of the pond and taking refuge there.
Part of me felt guilty for being normal in such abnormal times but I just didn’t know what else to do. And Walden is my refuge.

And so today, again she saved me. If only from my own thoughts of gloom and loss. If only as she allowed me to remember that I can find a rhythm within me, (and indeed listen to it in my breath and the flutter of my feet), a courage to face my own demons and keep moving forward to the other side (of them), even if I sometimes feel I am sinking rather than swimming.

That the strength is not in doing what is easy, but in keeping doing what is not. Walden taught me how to do that.

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