realization

The other day I noticed that I actually have everything I need.
Everything.
No matter where or when I am, I have exactly what I need in that moment.

I was swimming, alone. Not even a surfer was out. The ocean was at high tide, just turning. Calm, low swells – a regular rhythm. 6:30 a.m.

I took my time getting ready. Squirted drops of anti-fog on my goggles, smeared it around, in and out. Rinsed them in the ocean, pulled ’em on. Put the blue neoprene hood on my head, velcro’d it tight. Pulled on the webbed gloves and cinched ’em.

Goggles up, I stood at the edge of the sea where the sand was warmer, and stretched. Then I raised my hand to the sky and asked for help swimming, raised my other hand to receive it. Said, “Thank you.”

Calmed me.

Goggles down over my eyes, I walked into the surf, dove under a small wave, and swam past the breakers. Headed south toward the pier. Got into an alternate-side breathing pattern right away.

Swim swim breathe, swim swim breathe.

Lotta kelp, so looked straight ahead most of the time and swam through it.

Swim swim breathe, swim swim breathe.

Not a soul in sight, though I’d seen a maintenance truck drive by earlier, and there were probably lifeguards in the pier tower looking out with binoculars.

Swim swim breathe, swim swim breathe.

I swam steadily for a while, passing lifeguard stands on shore.

Swim swim breathe, swim swim breathe.

The current changed as I neared the pier, so I stopped, looked around, and got my bearings. Breathed. Began to backstroke north, back the way I’d come.

Dawn had broken, but the sun was behind clouds. The water was still peaceful. Tranquil. I flipped over to freestyle again.

Swim swim breathe, swim swim breathe.

Began to get scared. Is that dark shape down below – and that one and that one and that one – just seaweed on the ocean floor?

Or a shark?

Swim swim breathe, swim swim breathe.

Sharks don’t lie in wait. They have to keep moving.
Right.

Swim swim breathe, swim swim breathe.

And seals and sea lions breathe air, so they probably don’t hang around the bottom of the sea either, unless there’s a school of lunch down there.
Right.

Swim swim breathe, swim swim breathe.

Still no surfers or paddle-boarders. No other human swimmers.
Floated. Eyed the sky. Overcast.
Breathed.
Continued.

Swim swim breathe, swim swim breathe.

Finally saw Lifeguard Stand 19 – home! – and headed for it, diagonally, watching for incoming waves.

Swim swim breathe, swim swim breathe.

Looked back at the swells, waited for the waves to pass
and pass
and pass.

Swim swim breathe, swim swim breathe.

Now near the impact zone, I dove beneath waves that crashed too close for comfort. Bobbed up behind them, sometimes shooting up a few feet. Yeah!

A lull.
Swam straight for shore, caught a wave and rode it in, kicking fast. Yeah!

Rocks, pebbles, shells, and sand beneath my feet.
Safe.

Breathe.

You know how to swim.
You know how to dive beneath the crashing waves, down to the calm.
You know how to ride the waves without drowning.
You know that you have everything you need.
Everything.

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One thought on “realization

  1. “…Don’t know what we’ve got, but it feels like a lot,
    We don’t need no more…” – from the song ‘Time To Kill’, by The Band

    Like

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