Thursday, March 4, 2010

I Take to the Water...

by Felicia Donovan

peconic

I grew up on the shores of Long Island. My grandfather, a Naval Captain, practically raised my father on boats. As children, we were exposed to lots of water experiences - fishing on my Dad's boat, building sand castles near the shore, surfing on our makeshift surf boards or just swimming in the chilly Atlantic. The time we spent together as a family on or near the water are some of my most cherished childhood memories.

Now that I'm all grown up, I still find myself at the beach as often as possible, but the chilly New England winters make beach-going a very trying experience. I've done it many times, but the wind sucks the air out of your lungs and no layers can keep warmth in.

I had been sorely missing my water connection until a few weeks ago when I joined a fitness center with an indoor pool. It is the single-most best investment I've ever made. Though the pool fills up with young families on the weekend, it is often completely empty the odd times I go. The pool is kept warm enough to let my muscles gently warm up as I begin my laps. After doing "Penance" for a while, I stop and play - diving, spinning, bobbing up and down and generally frolicking about - just as I did as a child.

As I glide through the water unencumbered, uninhibited, my imagination surfaces. I am, once again, Jacques Cousteau about to discover the sunken treasure ship laden with gold buried at the bottom of the ocean for hundreds of years. I am a World Explorer setting off by sea for foreign lands. I am a dolphin trainer holding onto a fin as I am gently pulled along. I am gleeful, joyous, free...

What does the water bring to you?

10 comments:

Lisa Bork said...

We have a cottage on a lake. Nothing better than a soft breeze and the waves lapping the shore. I love to dive in off the dock and take the boat out, gliding over the water. Very relaxing.

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

I also love the water. Any water. I find it so peaceful and powerful at the same time. When you're driving along the CA coastline, the ocean often plays peek-a-boo with the highway, sometimes for many miles. Everytime I drive around a bend and catch sight of it, I feel like a kid who has just been given a special present.

Even a hot shower can loosen my brain and soothe my soul.

You think it's because our bodies are mostly water?

Felicia Donovan said...

I have often felt that at some molecular level, our bodies know that are composed mostly of water therefore we are drawn to it.On that note, one thing I am not very good at is...drinking water. I'll sip my cups of tea or glasses of iced tea all day long but water? Not so much. Go figure.

G.M. Malliet said...

Agree: The California coastline is second to none. You practically have to go to Maine to see anything like it.

I also love the water, and miss it when I can't get there. My mechanical "ocean waves" machine just doesn't cut it as a substitute!

Beth Groundwater said...

I am a true blue water lover. I swim laps in the pool, soak in hot tubs, snorkel in the ocean, ride whitewater rivers in rafts, and even enjoy the slides and rides in water parks. I must have been an otter or fish in one of my past lives.

Darrell James said...

I grew up playing along the banks of the Ohio River, knowing it in my youth as it looks from the Kentucky side of the river. Now, as then, to stop and gaze upon the massive flow of water, realize the awesome force of nature that created and sustains it, makes me feel small. And, yet, reassures me me that I am somehow important to the bigger scheme of life. The ocean has the same effect.

Keith Raffel said...

I remember the countless laps in the pool for swim practice. Back and forth and back and forth. Must have wasted 10% of my teenagehood going nowhere and getting wet.

Alice Loweecey said...

For several years, on vacation, I've written huge chunks of my books sitting by a lake. Someday when I make a gazillion dollars writing, we're buyin g a house on a lake.

Cricket McRae said...

I love being by water, hearing water, smelling water, even being on it. I've canoed across Lake Washington in Seattle, white water rafted, sailed and even water skied once.

But I always wear a vest. I can't swim.

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