The Solitude of the Water

My trip to Boyfriend’s parents’ lake house earlier this month re-invigorated my love of the water. I loved getting up and going for a morning swim every day we were there. Most of the time, Boyfriend would follow along in the kayak, as we got up a little late and there were other boaters out, but the last morning, I was ready to swim by eight in the morning, and it was early enough that only a few meandering fishermen shared the lake with me. It was lovely to feel the peace and quiet of open water in such a beautiful natural setting.

When I got home, I immediately missed being in the water. Despite not being very attached to horoscopes, I’ve always thought it was amusing that I’m a Pisces, as I love to be in the water. When I was a child, I would go to the pool and stay in the water until my lips turned blue and my grandmother practically had me fished out by force! So when I heard that a local aquatic center opened their pool at six in the morning, I thought I should start swimming before I left for work.

It’s largely a quiet bunch, mostly older, who inhabit the pool in the morning. There is the occasional person my own age, and the lifeguards are all quiet young, but mostly I see seniors doing their morning workout in the water. I’ve been fortunate to get a lane most of the time, but at a small community center, the lifeguards don’t mind if we rearrange the ropes a little to swim laps outside of the lanes. The water isn’t too cold, but also not bathwater-warm like some indoor pools, and even with people on either side of me, I feel alone, cushioned from the world around my by water.

I only swim breaststroke anymore. I used to try to mix in other strokes, but I like breaststroke. It’s peaceful and doesn’t splash, but I still feel my body getting stronger as I go. I think my favorite part of each lap is when I have just turned around and I have the entire lane ahead of me to peacefully glide through the water. Sadly, my skin still smells like chlorine, but it is a small price to pay for my little morning retreat.

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