Friday, March 4, 2011

Go Deep

BIG NEWS:  Y'all, my tea leaves were totally right.  I WON!!!!   So watch this space for big changes coming up.  In fact, it'll be a different space altogether, but whatevs.   In the meantime, I'm thinking if I get a shiny new blog it might be a useful thing to get in the habit of, you know, actually posting on it.

As it's Friday, I'm linking up with The Red Dress Club again.  Their prompt:  Water gives life.  It also takes it away.  write a post inspired by one or both of these statements.

In honor of katdish's giveaway, I'm reposting a guest piece I did for her last summer, on water and suspension in its depths.  


The water simmers in the summer heat, so when you wade in, the first few steps through the murky pond water feel uncomfortably swamp-like. But just as you reach the point where your feet lift off the muddy bottom, you begin to feel the delicious swirls of cool dark water, mixing with the squelching mud. You strike out for the middle – alternating strong crawl strokes with sneaky head-just-above water breast stroke – until you reach the very center.
Far away you see your grandfather squinting out at you, wondering if he should call you back, but he seems content that his twelve year old granddaughter knows her limits. The powerlines hum and crackle overhead, and the heat shimmers over the treeline of the mountains around you.
Once you are as far as possible from the shore, the trick is to jackknife your body and dive straight down – past experience tells you you won't quite get there, but still you try, diving down…..down…..down until you reach the icy currents near the muddy bottom.
Underwater, the sting of almost-freezing temperatures assaults your toes, even as you look up and see the rays of hot July sun pierce the green water above. It feels like hours, spent diving and floating, floating and diving. Snatches of conversation drift out over the water – someone asks the grandfather if he isn’t worried, worried about the girl floating in the water all the long hot afternoon. No, he laughs. No – that girl knows exactly where she is.
At twelve you haven’t grasped the the symbolism of suspending yourself in the depths. At twelve you can’t articulate the magnetic draw of the water – the elemental appeal of submersion. But what you do know at twelve is that you have struck out on your own – you’ve been given the freedom to go to the depths, with unwavering confidence in your ability to return to the surface.
Perhaps an indulgent grandfather had no way of knowing the profound lesson he taught that day. But never once has that swimmer entered the water without remembering the day she was allowed to go deep.


Carrie said...

This is a great memory. I love your description of the water near the bottom.

I remember carefree days like that, where anything felt possible.

Visiting from RDC

Anonymous said...

You just brought back my memories of swimming at the lake during my youth. There was a freedom I could only experience out on that lake. How did you know how I felt way back then? Lovely!!!!

Shell said...

What a fabulous lesson he taught!

kebrina said...

Once again, you've managed to articulate thoughts that are so close to my heart, yet have never surfaced. As I read your post, I remembered the feeling and the freedom of being 12 and being allowed to explore the world around me. Thanks for bringing a lasting smile to my face today!

katdish said...

Ah, loved this post all over again!

And have you been thinking about your redesign? I'm looking forward to giving you lots of unsolicited advice!

Cheryl said...

I remember this post..and it's still lovely.

hezro said...

The "going deep" part gives me the heebie jeebies but otherwise, great post. :)

The Empress said...


I enter every blog giveaway under the stars, and never win a thing.


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