For how many years now has she sustained me. Held me in her belly, supported my flailing body as I have navigated my way through her. And these days, these weeks, I am more than ever grateful for the energy she infuses into me…
I come exhausted. I flop, chest and face falling into her arms. Raising mine slowly above my head and bringing them, one after another, into her embrace. I tell myself I will not swim far, that I have to conserve what energy I have for my day’s work, walking and caring for dogs, and cats and birds… I have been doing this, this new found profession in pet care, and coming to Walden every day, or almost, since summer began. And day by day I feel my energy slipping away from me, even as I reach out into her and into the Fall when families return home from their vacations and I will return to my home in the woods not far from here.
Walden has cooled recently. The cloud covering the summer sun, the torrents of rain that have run rivulets down her sandy shores have refreshed her. So the mornings of late summer greet me with a crisp awareness of Fall and the shores of Walden are bathed in the shadows the sun leaves imprinted on her. And when I immerse myself I feel the delicately carved outline of my my skin with its slowly manicured strokes.
It is the rhythm of my life here that brings me back, again and again to her. It is the feeling I am aware of each time my feet flop up through her, shaking out the exhaustion of a day’s walking. It is the roll of my left hip and then my right, my left shoulder and then my right bringing back balance into my half crazed existence.
I swim out into nowhere. I am not heading to the distant point, that destination on the far shore that for years told me I had made it. I am merely swimming, enjoying the sense of being free to move and glide. I feel invincible in the water. My body is not hampered by back or hip or knee.
I watch the shore and I watch for bobbing heads and for fishing dingys and paddle boards. And sometimes I watch for nothing as there is nothing to watch for but water bobbing and dipping. And there is only me sailing through it breathing into peace.
I turn, a wide sweep of a turn, circling like a bird in flight. Somehow with the turning I feel I am being lifted until I am suspended on top of the water, skimming it like a bird in the perpetual act of landing. Some force outside me is carrying me. And every moving part of me is in sync with every other. I am sliding home refreshed to begin the day anew.