Tuesday, July 27, 2010


My friend murat got me thinking about water, and this got me thinking about my own experiences with water.

I've never really learned how to swim, I can float some, and tread water, but I'm not fluid within the waters be they river, lake, or ocean. I've gotten much better as my children truly enjoy the water and could and do spend enormous amounts of time in it.

When a was around 4 my mom signed me up for swimming lessons and that experience was so traumatic for me that it colored how I saw and experienced water for a very long time. I appreciated the water, I found it immensely beautiful but had zero desire to immerse myself within, I was happy just to dangle my feet in. Anything more and panic would set in.

The irony of all this is I grew up in Michigan surrounded by The Great Lakes.
The Great Lakes - Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario - are known for their beauty and the wealth of resources within and around them. The combined lakes contain one-fifth of the world's surface fresh water, and they are often referred to as the "sweetwater seas". The Great Lakes could cover the entire continental United States with over 9.5 feet of water. They are large enough to influence the regional climate, cooling summers and tempering winters, as well as increasing amounts of rain and snow in the region. A world-renowned fishery, thousands of acres of forests, major mineral and metal reserves and rich agricultural land provide a balance of economic opportunity within the basin. In addition, the lakes and their surroundings provide many recreational opportunities and an appealing place to live and work.


One of the beautiful aspects of parenting is when your child(ren) help you see something anew. Their love of the water helped me let go of my fears. I didn't want to keep them from enjoying something and I really didn't want my fear of water to be passed along to them; however, they couldn't go in by themselves, so we ventured into the waters together. It started with them only going in up to their necks, and then only going in up to my neck (this is still true for SweatPea), and now at least in pools Sonshsine has free reign.

So all this gets me thinking about family/community, at its best, walking together - growing together. It gets me thinking about all the leaps of faith I've made in my life. I'm not ever going to be this great swimmer, and I have no desire to be, but I am thankful for finally getting in past my knees.

Tao Te Ching:
The best are like water. Water benefits all things and does not compete with them. It flows to the lowest level that people disdain. In this it comes near to the Way.

1 comment:

Lee said...

Hey JS,

Playing a little catch up with blog reading. See you've been posting more. Good for you!

When I was a kid I was scared of water too. My parents didn't send me to a swimming class. Instead they and friends pulled me through the water by my hands while I kicked. Dad was getting pretty frustrated with my lack of progress and I was scared because I couldn't float. So I went to the kiddie pool to learn how. I floated on my back counting. I kept at it. First I reached 100 floating. Then I aimed higher. When I reached 1,000 floating I knew I could do it whenever I wanted to so bye bye fear of water. Glad you're getting over your fears and hope you'll find time to take an adult swimming class because the stokes of swimming through the water makes great overall exercise.