Most beautiful thing: Swimming

swimming poolOn Sunday evening we went for a late swim at the pool. We left at 7:15 and got home at 9:30, everyone tired and smelling like chlorine. But we had a great time splashing around and being together. Benno got to try out his new goggles. Cate went down the little slide and tried to do as much splashing as possible while getting her face wet as little as possible. John clung to me for most of the time, which was lovely. Oh, and Ben was evaluated for swimming lessons and showed Darren and I that he can definitely float on his front and his back and kick on his front and back. This is a far cry from the little boy who would do everything his swimming teacher asked him to do EXCEPT put his face in the water.

I have spent a LOT of time in pools. My parents put us in swimming lessons every summer. By the time I was twelve I had completed every level of in the Red Cross/ YMCA program and had moved on to Bronze Medallion and Bronze Cross. Then I did my NLS and became a lifeguard and swimming instructor. Once again, most of my summers were spent floating in a pool and teaching kids how to swim. I loved it. At one point I was teaching all day, then going over to a friends’ house and swimming in the evenings. I would generally be the last one out of the pool. I love the water.

Swimming provides so many great metaphors for life: treading water, drowning, coming up for air, surfacing, diving in. Swimming is about adapting your body to an environment that could kill you. It is also about feeling lighter than air, moving in a way that gravity makes impossible on land. Swimming allows you to bend the rules, to be graceful when you are awkward, to be light when you are heavy. Swimming provides a resistance that doesn’t generally exist. It makes you work harder for movement that is normally easy and free.

All these metaphors, both positive and negative, seem to be related to times of transition.  My life has been full of transitions lately, thus the lack of blogging. It has been a busy time, and it is easy to get caught up in the difficulties that transitions can bring. Transitions can certainly be challenging, but they also provide great opportunities. And sometimes those opportunities lead you to places that you never expected to go and people you never thought you would meet. And it all happened because you were brave enough to welcome change into your life.


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