Mary Beth Writes

“It's a good idea to begin at the bottom in everything except in learning to swim.” Unknown author

I was well into my 40’s when I realized that one doesn’t have to wait for perfect weather if one wants to go into the water. 

We had only lived in Racine a year or two and I was taking the kids to North Beach to swim in Lake Michigan. The day was windy, bright, and warm enough to spend an afternoon at the beach. The lake itself was turning over as it does, so the water temps were probably in the upper 50’s. The kids ran screaming into the lake as kids are wont to do. I put my toe in – Holy Cow! –  too dang cold!

I went back to our blanket and sat down. I’m not a beach reader, it’s too bright and besides, I had the kids with me; kids in water need watching.

They were yelling, splashing, running back out, digging along the shoreline, careening back into the shoreline waves.  All I was doing was getting hot and then hotter.

It occurred to me swimming is like everything else. You can wait for it to be perfect because occasionally it WILL be perfect.  But you can also just get up now and go into the chilly water.

I got up and ambled into that cold, cold lake. I screamed a bit and then plunged in. I swam a little, splashed a lot, and played with my kids. Eventually I hauled back out to lie on the beach, one more proper matron in a modest suit, watching her kids, as contended as ever a grown-up can be.

“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water”.     Loran Eisely

“Yes, I can swim! Just not always on top of the water.” One of our kids, a very long time ago. 

Comments

Cute story. Right now —- life is like swimming. We aren’t always on top of the water and it isn’t always perfect.
Mary Beth's picture

Yeah, that's what I was sort of thinking.

We are so lucky to live on the shores of Lake Michigan, one of the world's great reserves of clean, fresh water.
Mary Beth's picture

It's a beautiful lake.

I can't swim in the water but I've been swimming through most of my life avoiding rip-tides and the like... For several years now I've been struggling in my personal life and gasping to stay afloat... This epidemic had me struggling like everyone else for some sort of a life/normality, until *Mr. B* came swimming up to me, put his arm around my chest and pulled me to the shore...

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I get emails from Boswell Bookstore (2559 N Downer Ave in Milwaukee). They host artist events pretty often and Monday evening, April 15th Len and I will be there for the Author Evening with Leif Enger. You can look up more of the details if you are interested. (Tickets are free but you need to reserve them.)

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