I wasn’t in any trouble, I wasn’t having a panic in the water, I wasn’t caught in a current, tired or in need of a rest…. I just wanted to float….
So I bobbed and floated, floated and bobbed, looking up at the sky and the clouds passing by, looking down at the weeds and the fish, the green and brown colours beneath me. Confounded by my own hand or a foot, that I know are attached to me but that seem otherworldly and separate from me against the background of the lake water around them.
I have no idea how long my star float lasted. It must have been a while as it occurred to me that the lake staff might think I was unconscious and come wading out in a hurry to rescue me…. I moved about a bit and looked alive just to reassure them and then bobbed and floated a bit more
Because some days it’s about bobbing, about the sound of the water around your head, the feel of the water against your skin, some spots are warm and inviting and then you hit a cold patch. It’s about feeling the warmth of the sun on your face, hearing the song of the birds as they fly by or the rumble of the traffic on the A419 (muted under water but still audible at times).
On a bobbing day, open water is a source of comfort and solace, a moment (or three) of peace and quiet where you can stop and be mindful of everything around you and within you. The sounds and sensation that you are (quite literally) immersed in. Mindful of your breathing and of your place in the grand scheme of things. Mindful of your heart beat, and how you can feel it and the blood it pumps, racing round your body.
Yes…I know it sounds weird but you really can!
The water is a haven (although not always a safe one!) and a hideaway when you need one, like an old friend who always has a new story to tell, things to share and teach you. A comfort blanket, a refreshing wake up call, an early morning ‘get your ducks in a row’ moment before the day begins, an evening ‘put it all aside and move on’ after a tough day.
Of course, some days it’s not a bobbing and floating day at all, it’s time to get a wriggle on and get swimming, pacing, timing, counting, sighting, kicking, reaching, turning, repeating 3 syllable mantras always at the ready to keep time and pace for me and avoiding the water landing seagulls.
Tomorrow may be one of those days…. Who knows!