“All in all, it was a never-to-be-forgotten summer — one of those summers which come seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going — one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends and delightful doing, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.”
- L.M. Montgomery, Anne's House of Dreams
I put it off as long as possible, this pool thing. Together with 'planes, trains, and automobiles' water is high on the list of things I abhor. Being an only child of a non-swimming mother (from an entirely non-swimming clan on both sides) probably took care of any chance I would turn out otherwise. I have no happy water memories. Cannot even begin to list all the things I dislike and distrust about bodies of water, starting with getting wet.
I have driven my children to swimming lessons. I have encouraged them to sign up for camps that involve canoeing and tubing. Whenever invited, I have happily packed their beach towels and sunscreen and sent them along with friends to swim. I take pictures of them swimming. I am a swimming enabler of the highest degree. Just please don't ask me to get in the water. Please. Especially if you are in the teeniest pink tankini ever made, swaddled in layers of flotation devices, with two bitty pigtails.
This time I got in. It took a good half hour to gradually lower myself into the bracing English water, despite all the directions from the peanut gallery side of the pool to just jump in. See, I don't generally "jump in" to things easily. But I do get there in my own time.
Eleanor Roosevelt said to do one thing every day that scares you.
In fact this has been my motto many days these past two years. The upside being that every day you do that there is one thing that scares you a little bit less. There are lots of ways to die to yourself. For most of us it is done by this petty martyrdom available to us everyday. Little opportunities to face your fears, to thwart your will, to make someone else happy. And that it did.
But it was still cold.