Sub-zero-degree temperatures and frigid winds for the past week have kept me indoors. Whenever I’ve thought about making the less-than-a-mile trek to the fitness center I’ve talked myself out of it. Although my vacation plans included swimming to my heart’s content, stinging cold has made it easy to curl up with a hot cup of coffee instead.
This morning the walls close in on me and I’m drowning in a sea of despair. I know what I need to do. No matter how cold, wet or icy, I’ll let nothing stand between me and the lap pool.
I pack my gym bag and layer two sweaters, jeans and a heavy coat over my swimsuit. My car’s thermostat reads 16º.
In the locker room I hurriedly peel off the layers and head for the pool. It’s uninhabited and the water’s a clear sheet. All mine.
I slip in and submerge fully then propel myself through the cool water that rushes over and carries me to another place.
Sunlight shining through the long windows paints ribbons across the pool’s blue floor.
Smoother than silk, water is a lover’s gentle caress that massages my bare skin and whispers peaceful words of reassurance in my ear. “You are alive. You are changing. You are safe.”