I love the water. I feel loved by the water. I had a conversation with God in the Shower and wrote an essay about it. Water is an important part of my life.
At the age of 8, I drowned. When I was given CPR, I literally spit up guppies.
At the age of 11, I called my dad, who was sitting on the patio, to watch me. I jumped into the deep end of the pool. I couldn’t swim. Neither could he. The Lifeguard pulled me out of the water. My dad smacked me upside the head for being so “stupid.” I learned to swim that day.
At the age of 13, I lived in Livorno, Italy. I was determined to get my Junior Lifesaving certification. The testing took place in the ocean. It was my turn to swim out to the buoy and retrieve the mannequin. I swam out and on my way back swam right through a jellyfish pool. I sustained many stings. swelled up, screamed my butt off, but still finished my swim and brought he mannequin to shore. I got my certificate.
At the age of 15, I was a summer camp counselor. We had a flat bottom boat that was dragged across a small lake by a rope. A ride of sorts. One of the kids fell in the lake. I jumped in, rubber boots, winter coat and all. I felt myself being dragged under by the weight of my water filled boots, but managed to get them off and pull the child to safety. When the parents came to get him, they thanked me profusely. At the end of camp of was give an patch with the German flower on it, Edelweiss. A few years later I found out that boy’s parents were multi millionaires. Sigh.
At the age of 18, my best friend and I were floating in a lake, on air mattresses, covered in olive oil. We were literally stewing in our own juices. I sustained second degree burns. Duh.
At the age of 28, I live in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Some of the best snorkeling/diving in the world is there. So I was told anyway. I went into the water with my snorkel gear my then husband in tow, and headed for the reef. I was finding all kinds of great treasure and putting them in a bait bag attached to a cord on my belt. I was quite engaged in the beauty around me when I felt a tug on my bait bag. Apparently I had attracted a shard who proceeded to swallow my bag, this pulling me along into open water. I went to cut the bag loose and cut my leg, and yes Sharks are attracted by blood. We were eye to eye and I decided at that moment I would swim to shore without looking back because I didn’t want to see myself get eaten. It followed me for a while and apparently lost interest, but I swam to shore and was still doing strokes like some daft cartoon character, minutes after reaching the sand.
I live in Florida. Pretty much almost surrounded by water. I love going to the beach for meditation, after storms, and to take long walks. I don’t really get in the water to swim, just ankle deep to refresh myself in the heat.
I still love the water.