My post run impulse was to swim in our lake to wash off the sweat and effort in an attempt to also cool down my body and quickly bounce back from the impact of running at my age.
It is Fall, and the water has that silk-like quality of smoothness and coolness you expect from a refreshing lake this time of year. My mind consistently produces anxious thoughts just prior to entering the rain chilled, massive body of liquid that, to my mind, will induce a heart attack or some fatal response.
I enter with apprehension even though I know from experience how refreshing and restorative it will be on the other side of fear and discomfort. Always there’s a clinch when the water level reaches my waist. I tighten, hold my breath and decide to “go for it”, then exhale my way to submerging my entire body into the fish filled, light refracting open space. Memories of summer are rhythmically washing over my body now. Sun block, children’s cries of joy and lifeguard whistles all but echoes now of what once was in the beating sun.
I’m the only human swimming this morning due to the imminent rain in the forecast. But for now, the water is reflective, calm and inviting. My strokes are effortless and automatic, very little splash or disruption on the surface. As I swim, summer memory and stress wash out of me, all the while hearing my deep in and out breath lulling me into a blissful state. I truly want this to be a memory I will recall in February when the outside world in New England is harsh, bitter and uninviting.
I can not only feel, but hear the gentle rain now falling from dark bursted clouds above me. The thought that there’s an outside chance of lightning barely moves my heart rate upward. I continue to peak above the surface at the drops, not just falling into the lake but now actually maintaining their unique beaded shaped as they land lightly on the surface of rippled water I’m floating through. Astonishingly, I realize the beads are not merging instantaneously with the family of water under it. It’s as if the molecules from the sky meet the one’s from earth and there’s this mandatory introduction first with the potential of a match. It seems when there is a match, as in life, merging and connection on a deeper, sustaining level happens. The droplets are then given the right of way to enter.
I continue swimming with my eyes above water peering at the droplets landing, waiting and sliding along the surface, and then disappearing in the mass of lake molecules now surrounding and supporting me as I glide along with the community of lovers. I feel the pull of awe happening in my whole body as I witness this little miracle of mindful moments. Nature has once again found its way to my heart and awakened it from sleep.