The Prodigal Swim

24 09 2009

I love my lake.

Now, if you read this blog or know me, you already knew that. For so many years now, I’ve been having a mad passionate love affair with this extraordinary body of water that I am so blessed to live by..

Every Spring, on Mother’s Day, my sister and I take an icy plunge into its waters, sort of like a baptismal entry into summer.

Mothers Day 2009 012

Every Summer, I seek the lake every chance I get… early morning dips after a run, late evening skinny dips by myself, all day excursions with the kids in tow.

August 19 011

Every Fall, I try to extend the swimming season by choosing a warm day to remind myself yet again why I love this water.

Fall swim 008

In fact, after I kick the old bucket, I plan to be cremated and tossed into the waters, becoming a part of the life-cycle of this oasis forevermore.

Last week, it was HOT. Wednesday morning I went for my standard 5 km run along the shore. When I was done, I was dripping sweat. It was less like September warmth, and more like July hotness, and the lure of the lake was irresistable.

I went down to the pebbly beach known by the locals as Turtle Beach (named for a very large rock whose “back” peeks out of the water like a turtle’s shell), stripped down and went for it.

Oh. My. God.

The water was delightful. Cool, not cold. And so clear. I could see to the bottom, even though I swam a good distance out. It swirled around my body, dancing on my skin, and I felt so alive. So thankful. So happy. So grateful.

And then, I noticed that the sun was behind me, and I could see my shadow self on the lake bed 20 feet below me, swimming and water dancing. It evoked in me a kind of childlike wonderment. I couldn’t get out of the water. I swam and swam.

I realized then, that I was having a prodigal swim. One that will rest in my heart through the cold, dark and gray winter months ahead. It will be the life line I will cling to when the moroseness of the season weighs heavy on my heart. It will be what I look forward to as the season begin to tease us with change, and the sun begins again to show us how warm it can truly become.



4 responses

25 09 2009

The ONE thing I hate about DC is the ocean being 3 hours away. 😦

25 09 2009

Oh, that’s hard!!! I could never live away from the water… It’s too much of a part of me.

1 10 2009


1 10 2009

Ya wouldn’t have loved him when he stunk like the bowels of Hell….

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