categories: Cocktail Hour / Getting Outside
Ah. Last summer I couldn’t swim because of the neck operation. It just hurt too much to pull water with my hands, to roll my shoulders, to turn my neck from side-to-side. I could wade in and float, but. So. It’s a special pleasure this summer to drive the three miles to Drury or Staples and visit with the McNairs or Slartons and swim out to the center of whichever little pond and tread water with the loons. You might also be with dogs, you might also be with friends, but when the water is in your ears and you are stroking forward you are very much alone in your thoughts, which I find turn from the business of the day, the worries of the week, the issues of the month, the crises of the year, the lifetime failings, to: To the noise of the breath and the bubbles of the stroke and the squiggling path and dainty wake of the water beetle just ahead, who seems to have decided to serve as pilot to the vessel of yourself. It’s the exercise, of course, the endorphins pumping through every capillary, but mid-swim you do find yourself suddenly there, suddenly in–wait–a pond, and suddenly aware of all the very tall white pines at the shore, the great rocks at the edges, the mounting glorious clouds overhead, and it’s summer, and it’s getting near cocktail hour, and there are nighthawks high above, and you are swimming the pond, this way out and then this way back and then there’s company and it’s only tonight, the eternal now, and it’s no other anything at all.