Water is My Safe Haven
Everyone, once in their life, searches for a place or thing to get away and to be by themselves for awhile. When they find this place or thing, it provides them with the comfort, stability, and vitality they may need. It can be a library, the outdoors, a car, the front porch, or even a swimming pool, where they feel the safest, the most comfortable, or feel like all their burdens, all of their worries may be washed away. For me that place is the water; a river, a lake, a beach, a swimming pool, wherever there is water, that’s where I‘ll be.
I was always afraid of the water. I was always afraid to leave the edge of the pool and to swim off in the middle. The pool was a big place where water was on all sides, it was stronger than me, and it intimidated me. Swimming for me was like a dog paddling the water. It was hard, and I was a young and confused on the mechanics of swimming. I can remember being thrown in the pool very often, that being a tactic my Mother used to get me to swim. It worked sometimes but other times I needed assistance.
I can remember when I joined the swim team as a freshmen in high school. I wanted to get over my fear of water and wanted to learn how to swim. Goggles in hand, swim cap tightly fitted on my head. My legs shaking. The smell of freshly applied sunscreen coming through my pores. Beads of sweat dripping from my forehead. Nervousness overpowering my body. I was scared. This was it, I’d have to swim. No more holding on walls. A big pool surrounded by walls, a diving board, and 13 feet of water. There was no way I was backing out. The question was could I do it?
I got into the pool. It was cool against my warm skin. Lilies floated by. Bugs buzzed through the air. Chlorine smelled in the air. I was told to swim. The coaches showed me how to breath, and how to stroke, and I was to practice that all day as I swam lap after lap after lap. I pushed off of the wall and dove my body into the water. Arms over my head behind my ears one overlapping the over and then I went hands first into the cold and refreshing water. Noises erupted and I could hear the splashing and moving of the other swimmers as I swam. Bubbles raised to the surface, a clear blue pool of water. Legs kicked and hands stroked. Heads turned and ears touched the water. It was an amazing sight to see. Everyone was moving at the same time, flipping and touching the walls, heads were rising, and people were diving. I fell in love with water on this day, but my love for water had started even before then.
When I was a little child I often went...