My legs are bent slightly as I dangle, catching my breath, on the edge of the deep end. Chin’s on forearms, eyes are closed, heart rate slows, in- then exhale.
For a moment, I just pause in that familiar hazy detachment to the world I’ve come to depend on as much as sleep. The best swims are ones like these- when everything around, sounds and surrounding splashes, but above all else- my worries, seem to be a million miles away. Whatever weighed so heavily on my heart, just a short while ago, holds weight no longer. Stress and doubt bear no emotional value in the perfect universe that I try to create each and every time I step into a pool. For this is my domain, and as master of it, I can generate success and I can refuse to fail. This is a place where hard work is rewarded with moments that feel simply perfect.
In this perfect moment, I feel balanced and I feel at peace. In this perfect moment, I feel as if I’ve been laughing until tears or maybe it’s crying until sobs. In this perfect moment, I feel exhausted but also energized. How does that work? How does the organic rejuvenation of a deep sleep come from doing the exact opposite? I’m on the edge of
dreaming, on the edge of everything, thankful to feel so alive- in this perfect moment.
I’ll stretch my limbs as far as they can go and emerge from the water taller because of it. Later, or when I need it the most, the pool’s smell will pacify because it reminds me of how perfect a moment can be. When I’m lying in bed to sleep, the essence will be on my forearm. Just like before. Eyes close, heart rate slows, in- then exhale.