When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The swimmer

The swimmer dives gracefully into the deep blue hydrosphere, breath held, arms reaching out as he glides forward against the weight of the water.  He kicks powerfully, and rotates his arms in deliberate arcs, striving to reach the pool's edge faster and better than he ever has before.  Every breath is carefully measured, every stroke a willful and beautiful coordination of brain and body, a merging of movements remembered from past training and determined new intentions.  As the swimmer approaches the wall at full speed, it appears as though he might propel himself head first into the solid barrier; everyone's breath is held at that moment.  But at the last second, he flips his body in a precise and purposeful turn, and ricochets off the wall to push himself masterfully in a whole new direction.  The ripples in the water do not slow down the swimmer's strong, streamlined strokes; his confidence and determination nudge him ever forward.

Things don't always go so smoothly in the pool's wide expanse of blue.  Sometimes the water feels cold and uninviting to the swimmer; sometimes his mind plays tricks on him and makes him doubt his ability to make it to the other side.  There are days when his brain and body seem out of sync, when his careful rhythm is off by a fraction of a beat, making him feel as though he's thrashing awkwardly and never getting anywhere at all.  Some days the swimmer yearns just to lie back and float peacefully, quietly, his tired limbs buoyant on the water's calm surface, hearing nothing but the water's quiet hum in his ears, feeling nothing but the oxygen flowing through his body with every deep breath.  It is precisely in the moments when the swimmer wonders how he can possibly keep on pushing through the water that he realizes it is what he was born to do.  Deep within, he finds a strength he didn't know he had and dives in again, believing that his proudest and most joyful moments are yet to come.

Really, aren't we all swimmers in a wide, wide sea?

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