Tuesday, June 2, 2009

After the baby goes to sleep

I climb onto my commuter bicycle- a hybrid with wide tires and a smooth ride. Turn out of the driveway and down the rocky road. Navigating the pot holes my mind wanders back to childhood when long car rides to Grandma and Grandpa's house would end with waking up as the car bounced along the dirt road to their house. Turn onto Daniel Island Drive and watched the tide roll into the creek. Bike across two bridges surrounded my marsh and breathing the scent of pluff mud. Approach the pool and hear the sound of young boys splashing, a mother with soft instructions of caution from the deck. I flip my shoes, pants and shirt off. Pull my cap and goggles out of my bag, hop in feeling the warm water. The evening air is cool on my wet arms and face. The first lap is always the best. Feeling the strength of my arms, the smooth water flowing down my body, my legs strong propelling me forward. The standard black stripe down the center, an occasional surprise of a waterlogged insect or lost hair barrette lurking beneath. Losing myself in the rhythm of stroke, stroke, breathe, stroke, stroke, breath, turn, repeat. My mind visits all images from the day. Recapping the frustrations, rehearsing my comeback, pushing these thoughts away, one after another. Flipping to backstroke I am reminded that I am in a pool, outside. The flags hanging above are tattered and torn, likely from the elements as the pool is just yards from the harbor. I see the moon, a half moon rising. Turning at the wall from underwater I watch the distorted image of the palmetto tree, that comes into focus as I float to the surface. Out of the pool back on my bike there is enough sunlight to take the long way home. Around the gravel path past the boat docks, down the nature trail. A large crane is startled as I approach. As he takes off his wings spread wide, tiny legs like sticks leave ripples in the pond. By the time I arrive home my mind is filled with gratitude. So blessed to be in such a beautiful place. Fortunate to have the strength to bike and swim. Celebrating this time to myself. It is too good- I couldn't even make it up better than this.

Pierce Park Pool

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