When I was small, I was afraid of the water. I remember swim lessons where they'd ask me to dunk my head, pick up a ring. My toes were made for the job, seeking out that ring, curling around it, bringing it to my hand as my head stayed dry.
Yet, one day, I finally got my courage, took a deep breath, and went under. I remember opening my eyes and looking around, amazed at this "other" world.
Water became solace, water became comfort, water brought me joy.
My astrology sign, if you put stock in such things, is Pisces. Maybe it was predestined that I would have such a connection to water, maybe it wasn't. I just know the connection is there.
Once I got over my fear of dunking my head, I became a fish every summer. I'd spend days at the pool with my friends, hours swimming laps for swim team every morning. The sound of the waves on the beach would sooth my soul in a moment, as did gazing out over a lake or a pond.
As an adult, I live for time near the water. My favorite vacations center around a beach. If I could somehow magically transport my town to be near the ocean, I'd be in heaven. Instead, I treasure the time that I do see that glorious expanse of the horizon, the birds calling overhead, the smell of salt in the air.
And, when that's not enough, I head to the pool as I did today.
I pulled on my goggles, set my watch, took a breath, dropped below the water, and pushed off from the wall. Bubbles raced past to me as my body pushed up to the surface. My arms started pulling me through, the strokes and breaths are instinctual, my mind knows them by heart.
There's no fear of the water any longer, only a longing in my heart to be near it.
This is home.
Slice of Life is a challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers