Tuesday, June 4, 2013

At the pool

She stood there eyeing the pool. A frail whisper of a woman who's spine curved forward making her appear rather tempestuous. Her tiny legs were covered in wrinkly sagging skin and her hair poofed atop her head in no particular fashion. With goggles in hand she wobbled over to the edge and peered as if looking for the perfect spot. I worried a little thinking she might not know the shallowness of that section. Concerned, I wondered if she was thinking of doing the unthinkable of diving in. She stooped to help a child out of the water...a small child. I was relieved. But then quick as a wink she strapped on her goggles and jumped right in.
The transformation that happened under the water was invisible to all around. For where an old fragile woman had jumped into the water emerged a new creature; fluidity in motion. She came to the surface a few yards down the lane barely making waves as she swam stroke over stroke. She never gasped for air but silently stole a breath between movements. When she reached the wall it looked so effortless as she flipped head over heels and pushed off again. It was beautiful. In the water there was no age or creaking bones, there was freedom and memory and amazing skill.
After a while, she made her way out of the pool..tugging at her swimsuit. Slowly she waddled over to a chair and eased down beside an equally crooked man waiting for her while basking in the sun.
For a moment my mind saw them young again, a strapping man, a beautifully fit woman...at the pool for a day of relaxation.