SWIMMING PRESENT

I get to see the dawn as I drive to the pool to swim every other day. Opalescent sky tinged with pale salmon and gold, pale moon hanging low over the hill, the wetlands sparkling as the first rays of the sun peer over the horizon and reach tentatively out to touch shallow water where tall herons wade searching for their first meal of the day.

As I drive I try to enjoy the sights and feeling of being out early, almost alone. It feels great to have this time to myself with the promise of the day and my swim ahead of me. It's amazing what 15 minutes alone can lead to, thoughts of God, beauty, serenity, peace, until the buzz of everyday life intrudes, anyway.

Oh shit I'm late! Come on jerk, I'm late! Can't you go a bit faster? Come on! Move! Out of my way! Fuck, I'll never get there at this rate! I wish I could get out of bed when the alarm goes off, but no, I need to lie there for at least one snooze button and now look! I'm late again.

If there was a message in all this, what would it be?

If there was a message in all this it would be don't hit the snooze button

If there was a message in all this I'd get it and learn

If there was a message in all this I'd leave in time to enjoy the ride

I get to the pool and rush through the turnstile, barely acknowledging the girl who buzzes me in. I hang my work clothes on a locker and dash out to the pool. The chilled air curls around my legs and arms and over my bare shoulders as I strip off my sweats. I snap my swim cap in place, tucking stray ends of hair under the snug rubber edge as I walk gingerly over the icy concrete to stand at the edge of the pool. The water sparkles in the early sun and the warm mist rises from the glittering surface. I can smell the damp, chlorinated warmth of the water as I dip my goggles in and stick them securely over my eyes. I shallow dive and feel the water rush sensuously over my body and I can feel myself gliding through it at good speed while I warm up.

I cannot swim and think about what my day will bring I cannot swim and think about anything but the clock and laps I cannot swim and feel anything but the water flowing over my body I cannot swim and not be present