I spent the greater part of my first three years out back in our above ground pool swimming from sun up to well past sun down. I was pretty sure I was a mermaid, misplaced here on earth. Clerical error or something. There are days when I still question that.
I’ve always felt most at home in the water. Born under a Pisces sun with a Pisces moon and a whole bunch of other watery planets, that probably makes sense. Water is the main symbol in my dreams and rarely a night goes by when water doesn’t make at least one appearance in some form.
Having finished up a project I’d been working on fairly intensely, I decided to treat myself to a swim after my Cyntergy class today and indulge my water jones. Sun Oaks has recently built a new outdoor pool and I’ve been eyeing it with eager anticipation. The water sparkles crystal clear in the sun. The lane lines were in today. It was not quite ready (tomorrow, they say!), so I took a dip in the covered pool. Water is water.
As I was breast stroking down the lane, I thought about why I love the water so much. As my head came up for breath, I saw the forest landscape and heard the birds that fly through the open sides of the pool roof. As my head dipped down into the water, silence. The black tiled path down the middle of the pool directed my eyes to the black cross tiled at the end of the pool. The blue water, the silence, the simple design. As I bobbed between these perspectives, it dawned on me that it’s the perspective shift I love.
Take snorkeling. When we find warm, tropical-fish filled bays–like my favorite Kealakekua Bay in Hawaii–and explore, I’m am wholly in my element. I just want to stay there, dive down, and live in sea caves. The beauty overtakes me. The fish, the corral, the way the light shines through the water, the silky feel on my skin. Pure bliss.
But water, like all life, has its shadow. A most devastating blow to my life as an underwater explorer came when I discovered I couldn’t SCUBA because of the scar tissue in my ears from repeated ear infections as a kid (ironically, probably due to the fact I never came out of the water.) During my SCUBA class I actually got stuck in the bottom of the pool and had to be lifted out very slowly over a period of an hour so my head wouldn’t explode and mess up the pool. I seriously almost ran out of air in my tank. What a stupid way to die that would be for an x-mermaid. Water and I had always gotten along, but not that time. Then there are tsunamis and floods. Who can forget about the whole Noah story. I’ve even heard that if you drink too much water, it can kill you…which seems odd to me considering I consume enough water to irrigate a Corning olive orchard.
Still, without water we die. It is the source of all life. It cleanses and purifies. It’s essential to our well-being in so many ways. It’s used in spiritual rituals (holy water, baptisms). It’s celebrated in bathing rituals in 7 different forms in Korean Spas. (Sigh. I miss the Korean spas.) Without it, our crops die and we have no food. We depend on it.
I don’t know if this blog has a point. I’m leaning towards no. If there is one lingering, it’s this. We all have themes that thread through our individual lives. It’s usually where our joy lives. Perhaps it’s trees. Or birds. Or water. When you find it, you find your happy place. Enjoy it there.
Oh my gosh! Jamie!! I love this post so much. From the awesome pic (that IS you, right? 😉 ) to your brilliant writing style, you’ve completely reminded me of how much I too adore swimming and how I need to go to the pool. Soon. In the summer I love a lake near my place. Even the coolness doesn’t scare me away and have learned that running in to dive underwater is the best way to acclimate to it. A few gasps at the surface (lol, can you tell I live in the north?) and I can swim forever. Okay after a while I have to get out to warm up but I can swim in that lake for quite a while. Swimming outdoors is my favorite and helps me connect with my inner dolphin part of self (instead of part-horse for this Sagittarian!). And how thankful and lucky are we all that you survived that terrifying experience. I can’t believe you made that funny; you brat! Huge hugs for this awesome article my friend. xo Gina
See now that’s where we mesh. You’re a Sag and I have Sag ascendant. Should have seen that coming:) Your lake sounds lovely. There’s just something about outdoor water, isn’t there? When we’re in Hawaii, I love the outdoor lava showers. I can totally picture you swimming in that lake. Go, Gina, go! Hugs! Jamie
Are we just twins separated at birth?
Yes, perhaps. I can see that. xo
Everything you said about swimming is why I enjoy it so much! Perhaps because I am a Cancer or because I crave quiet in my day. Glad you made no mention of “those swimmers” that hog the lane.
Aw, come on! I don’t remember you as a lane hog. Brings back good memories, those YMCA mornings before sunrise. Yet another reason to exercise–make great life long friends😀! Do you like to go in the ocean, too? Like in Hermosa where the water’s nice?