I swam competitively from the ages of five to twelve years. The ease of my natural swimming abilities made it easy for me to win races against other six-year olds. But by the time I was eleven, the hard work of my peers eclipsed my natural talents and swimming in circles lost its appeal.
But the burning sensation at the back of the throat, of a desperate intake of over-chlorinated muggy air has never left me. I actually get pretty excited when I feel it again, resting on the couch or driving between errands. This sensation is usually the first clear signal my body gives me when it is on the mend, when it is rested. Why this is my body’s “Yes” signal is still a mystery to me, but I have had it often enough to know what it is. Relief. A sign of healing. Comfort.
I’ve been part-time for a month now, have spent my days off paid employment working on the house and yard, attending the abundance of end-of-the-school year events for the kids.
Yesterday should have been more of the same. I had a long list of things to do in the yard: weeding, trimming the dead branch out of the ornamental pear tree, moving the Japanese Iris to a place they are more likely to bloom, planting the Clematis I bought Wednesday.
I began the weeding, but it started to rain about 9am so I came inside to read the wonderful library book I had started the night before. I fixed the kids lunch and did the dishes and went back to my book. I lay on the couch, under a blanket with the windows open and a cool breeze blowing.
About the time I started the last chapter of my book, I felt that particular burning sensation that I know means I am going to be OK.
It took a month.