This summer was all about being wet. As the season draws to a close, I see it wasn't just about cooling myself from the heat. It was a practical way to teach my heart to drench itself in beauty, refreshment, relaxation, peace.
It reminds me of my summers as a child. On the days when no one was available to "come out and play" I would venture into the pool in my backyard alone. After I had done enough handstands and somersaults, front dives and back dives to satisfy my need for play, I craved a different kind of movement. I would swim to the bottom of the pool and sit with my legs crossed Indian style and see how long I could stay there.
I learned quickly how buoyant my little girl body was. As soon as I positioned myself, my bottom would go floating up, up, up. I'd be suspended in the water, body tilting forward and sideways, legs still crossed, trying to get myself back down, down, down.
I learned that if I stretched out my arms beside me with my elbows bent, and made small upwards motions with my hands, I could keep my body down.
Once I mastered this, I remember enjoying the expansive stillness around me. I recall yelling out and listening to the sound of my own warbled under-water voice.
As my mind wanders back to that place, my body can still feel the palpable comfort of being enveloped by the deep.
Right now I feel like I could stay at the bottom without any butterfly movements of my hands. It's like I have leaden weights tied to my ankles, and if it weren't for my need to come up for air, I could stay in the deep for a very long time.
I crane my neck and look above me at the water's surface. It seems far away from here. And that's exactly where I need it to be.
I relish the muted sounds. I'm fascinated by the way everything looks fluid under water--even my own body.
I want to hush everything around me and say, "Listen. Just listen to the deep."