Wednesday, 14 August 2013
In at the deep end
When I was 3, I learnt to swim by default.
It was one of those rare, blistering hot summer days of salt kissed skin and ice cream on the beach. I was too hot in my armbands, and my sisters had no use for them; I wanted so much to be free to dive the waves. So, according to memory, I stripped them off and marched into the rolling surf.
In my minds eye I can recall being surprised when the first wave knocked me off my feet;spinning me under the wall of water. Indignant and determined I spat out half an ocean, and had another attempt, feet off floor, arms paddling like mad, waves buffeting rolling , relentlessly pushing against me..... But I swam, because not to swim never entered my mind.
Nowadays I swim in cool, blue pools, chlorinated, temperature controlled; safe and sterile. My mind can drift as I cut through the water...breathe in, breathe out.... A meditation to clear the jumble. Perhaps it has become too safe, and I need to sharpen my wits against the crashing waves and foam.