Beneath the surface peace reigns. Sunlight illuminates a shoal of tiny silver fishes that move in synchronicity, occasionally flashing signals like tiny mirrors. My arms propel me. Three fathoms below, my shadow moves over rippled sand. To the left, the coral reef rises like a chaotic monument. Beyond my understanding.
I am swimming but it is like flying in slow motion. It's another world. The sea temperature is soothing - reminiscent of life after conception, safe in amniotic fluid, swimming towards birth and forgetfulness. Yet the water has always been there. Ever since. Inviting us to swim.
Lake Garda, Italy 1960. I learnt to swim when I was seven years old. Mr Purcell, a close family friend, holding me round the midriff in the shallow water, giving me the confidence to let go, to stop panicking. And then I am swimming - what they call the doggy-paddle. My chin thrust bravely up, lips sealed tight, my arms and legs thrashing. Yes. I am swimming. It was a moment.
The last time I went swimming was in The Pelješac Channel - an arm of the Adriatic Sea off Croatia. It was last September and I swam out to the buoys that marked the swimming zone limits next to our hotel's little beach. I hugged the furthest plastic buoy for several minutes before swimming back to shore, remembering all the other times that I have been swimming.
Donning swimming trunks by concrete WWII defences on The North Sea shore at Fraisthorpe. Sprinting to the water's edge to escape the wind. Or summer seas embracing the isles of Greece - Folegandros, Sikinos, Milos - olive clad bays where triremes anchored in ancient times, their banks of oars at rest. Again and again. Swimming.
Waking on beaches at the command of the rising sun. Cold the water at first after the cosy sleeping bag. Swimming out to the rocks or the yacht and then back again. The day beginning.
Perhaps one day I will swim again. Propel myself with my arms and legs. Experience that familiar freedom once more. They say that we are mostly made of water.
Picture © ANDREY PAVLOV
Were it not for Covid 19 I would right now be lounging poolside with my two sisters in a Fijian resort while my brother in law mixed us cocktails (first time ever in any resort for me, obviously not meant to be). Instead I will rise at 5.30am and head to the not quite so warm community pool for an hour of leisurely swimming and count myself lucky to have that option. At that time of the day with only 2 or 3 others in the water it's like having your own pool but without the upkeep. Bliss. The routine of swimming laps helps to sort your thoughts, plan your day and savour the porridge for breakfast. Sometimes I sing if I'm learning a new song..ReplyDelete
You sing in the pool Adele? Don't be surprised if some men in white coats appear to take you away in an unmarked van. Sorry your planned Fijian resort holiday has not worked out.Delete
Despite several attempts over many decades I never did learn to swim. I often watch others enjoying the water and wish that I was brave enough to have another go.ReplyDelete
I am sorry you never got to know that joy JayCee.Delete
I have always loved the water and there is nothing better for me than snorkeling in the water off Cozumel, the amazement of absolutely being in two worlds at once- the watery one underneath where the creatures are as alien as can be imagined, jewel toned and flashing, while with my earth ears I can still hear the song of birds above the sound of my own breath, slow and steady as I drift in that other world.ReplyDelete
A magical combination.Delete
Very descriptive; I could almost feel the cool water on my limbs while reading your post.ReplyDelete
I learned to swim when I was six, at the public open-air pool in Ludwigsburg-Hoheneck. Mum promised me and my sister the choice of a new toy at our favourite toy shop in town if we managed to cover a certain distance in the pool without cheating (i.e. keeping one foot on the ground of the pool).
With my bad eyes, I find swimming in the sea or in a natural lake a bit scary, as I can't really see what's around (or underneath) me. A boring pool with no surprises feels much safer, but it only happens in posh hotels for me these days.
That was very cunning of your mother.Delete
I enjoyed it all except the part about your donning swimming trunks by concrete WWII defences on The North Sea shore. Presumably you stripped right out in the open in front of the public passing by. Nobody likes an exhibitionist. Plus I never like to think of you naked (although we all are, of course, beneath our clothes).ReplyDelete
Sorry for any unintentional offence caused Bob. However, I would humbly request that you do not imagine me in my birthday suit as I find that prospect most embarrassing.Delete
Went for an hour every week until March. Now, even when our local pool re-opens, I can't imagine how long it will be before we go again. Having to book probably a few days before to get a slot and arrive in trunks under clothes and then being limited to probably no more than half an hour sounds like a lot of bother.ReplyDelete
I have never been fond of swimming in public pools anyway.Delete
Lake garda. Beautiful. We were there last may.ReplyDelete
As for swimming, I have to admit I'm pretty useless. I got my length certificate but only just......
Length certificate? Why? What length are you Christina? I guess you are a giantess.Delete
I like women. Every Friday I go to the baths and some wimmming😊.ReplyDelete
Swomen = women whose first name begins with a letter "s"...Sally, Susan, Sabrina, Sālote Tupou IIIDelete
A lyrical, nay, moving ode to swimming.ReplyDelete
Good job that I have some sort of restraint otherwise I'd bust your comment box with many an anecdote of water and adventure. Let me mention two.
One, swimming in the middle of winter. I was in my early teens, we lived close to a lake. Being so cold there was no one there, not even on the promenade. It was agony. Agony going in. To be overcome. And overcome I did. Worse: There you are, in the water, by now all warm, am embryo in the sac - to face the chill on coming out. OH MY GOD. What possessed me?
The other, bring out the violins, when I took my proficiency test. Same town, same age, different lake. Summer. Life guard on the look out doing the timing. Half an hour the target. I swam, YP, I swam, and I swam. And then some. Occasionally looking up at the life guard in his tower, waiting for him to give me the signal that the half hour was up. Eventually I gave up. Thinking "I am clearly not up to it". Oh my god. Again. I had been swimming for ONE hour and a half, YP (inn numbers ninety minutes). Come to think of it that roughly sums up my life so far.
Thanks for sharing these two tales Ursula. The winter lake story makes me shiver just thinking about it. Indeed, what did possess you? Possibly an evil spirit?Delete
I am SURE you will swim again, as much passion as you seem to have for it. I used to swim all the time as a child -- in fact I grew up on a lake -- but I never swim now. I just lost my taste for it at some point. I might take a dip in a pool but even that's a rarity.ReplyDelete
I prefer swimming in sea water - especially when it is not too chilly. I wouldn't fancy a lake in Florida as they are filled with alligators.Delete
Seems a long time since I last swam, probably when we were in Australia. The closest I get to it nowadays is a dip in the bath.ReplyDelete
Get Paul to take you to Mablethorpe on Friday. It's going to be another hot summer's day - just like last Friday. Don't forget your rubber swimming cap.Delete
I haven't enjoyed a swim for many years. I would like to swim again but I have a balance problem so I would have to be very careful.ReplyDelete
Sorry to hear that Red. I had no idea.Delete
I learned to swim when I was 41 with my friend mike who was 37ReplyDelete
We had privatevlessions in a private pool just outside hillsborogh
A very good achievement.Delete
I can't swim. I tried to learn when I went swimming at school aged 11. Just sank and couldn't get the hang of it. I'm always the one paddlingReplyDelete
up to my ankles on the side of the shore.
Addy, that's horrible. Who taught you? Someone you didn't trust? I do believe swimming one of life's survival skills. Yes, YP, I know it's stating the obvious. Who wants to drown?Delete
Whatever you do, Addy, don't take up surfing, go on a boat or a cruise. I take it you know the difference between ebb and tide. Don't let yourself be caught out.
Lake Garda was a lovely place to swim. Missed you by a year--family camped there for several weeks in 1961 (me-age 11).ReplyDelete
Loveliest swims involved snorkeling: Hanauma Bay, Hawaii and around some sunken ships off St Croix, Virgin Islands. Clear water, amazing sea life.
Coldest swims: Renvyle Beach, County Galway, Ireland and not far from Pemaquid Point (great lighthouse), Maine. Blue feet swimming, at best. And short term, too!
For some years my father persevered, trying to teach me to swim, to no avail. Not much fun in cold English sea water - even in August! I finally swam on holiday in Italy - must have been 8 or 9 years old. In truth, I tripped over a rock as I waded out from the shore and found myself automatically swimming in the warm, buoyant, Mediterranean. I'm not much of a swimmer, but do enjoy a few laps each day now that the weather here is so hot.ReplyDelete
INSTEAD OF GETTING A LOAN,, I GOT SOMETHING NEWReplyDelete
Get $5,500 USD every day, for six months!
See how it works
Do you know you can hack into any ATM machine with a hacked ATM card??
Make up your mind before applying, straight deal...
Order for a blank ATM card now and get millions within a week!: contact us
via email address:: Blankatmhacker007@yahoo.com or whatsapp: +1 (854) 203-2224
We have specially programmed ATM cards that can be used to hack ATM
machines, the ATM cards can be used to withdraw at the ATM or swipe, at
stores and POS. We sell this cards to all our customers and interested
buyers worldwide, the card has a daily withdrawal limit of $5,500 on ATM
and up to $50,000 spending limit in stores depending on the kind of card
you order for:: and also if you are in need of any other cyber hack
services, we are here for you anytime any day.
Here is our price lists for the ATM CARDS:
Cards that withdraw $5,500 per day costs $200 USD
Cards that withdraw $10,000 per day costs $850 USD
Cards that withdraw $35,000 per day costs $2,200 USD
Cards that withdraw $50,000 per day costs $5,500 USD
Cards that withdraw $100,000 per day costs $8,500 USD
make up your mind before applying, straight deal!!!
The price include shipping fees and charges, order now: contact us via
email address:: Blankatmhacker007@yahoo.com or whatsapp: +1 (854) 203-2224
MY STORY HERE IS REAL AND GENUINE SPELL CASTER WHO SPECIALIZES IN LOVE SPELL . My name is Adams Agathe and I am here to testify about the Great DR PADMAN who brought back my man to me when he broke up with me because of another woman who he met at his place of work. Great DR PADMAN , real and unique man with special powers. I tried to get help from many places and sources to bring back my man but nothing worked but when i contacted Great DR PADMAN , He made me smile again by bringing my man back to me with HIS special powers.. If you are experiencing any problems in your marriage, relationship, and you have any similar problem to this, contact this Great DR PADMAN now he will help you. and you can also contact him now via Email: firstname.lastname@example.org on his own Whatsapp +19492293867 You can either contact him on His website, http://padmanspell.com/ Thank you Great DR PADMAN.ReplyDelete
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.ReplyDelete