Note: I’m pretty sure I blogged about this incident before.. but it’s been a couple years since I blogged and this was such a big event in my life, it was bound to come up again.
“I haven’t moved anywhere,” I thought to myself as I looked at the water tower to my left. “The current is too strong.” Tears came to my eyes and defeat tried to overtake me. I was weak and tired. How long had I been swimming? How much longer would it take to get back? Could I get back? Will I see my children again? I blinked back my salty tears, and lowered my goggles over my eyes to protect them from the salty ocean water. And I swam.
Earlier that day my husband and I had decided to go snorkeling. We had no experience. He was a strong swimmer though and had heard enough about snorkeling that he felt comfortable. I hesitated because I wasn’t much of a swimmer, but I didn’t want to disappoint him, so off we went. The rental hut was covered in reeds, lights dazzled, flowers brightening the entrance. “Snorkeling are we?” questioned the man. He gave us some tips and suggested a small coral reef off the shore on the other side of the beach. So there we went.
The water mixed with the sky on the horizon. “We got this,” my husband encouraged. “You’ll do fine.” Goggles, mask, flippers, gloves, thumbs up, and into the water. The cold waves dancing on my already goose-bumped skin, set in from a tinge of fear. And yet I swam.
It was beautiful… the colors, the fish, coming up to say hello. I was relaxed, laughing at the puppy fish following me, just as a little puppy would. My husband wanted to see more. He led us out into deeper water, hoping to find another reef, another corner of the world to explore. Darker waters where we couldn’t see much. I motioned that I wanted to go back. He nodded, and then turned. After a moment’s pause he looked at me. The shore was a beautiful landscape, like one you would see on a postcard. Except, this wasn’t a postcard. We had gone much further than we both had thought, the current had carried us out. Were there sharks? How strong is the current that brought us out here? I was frozen. But then I swam.
That’s when I noticed the water tower off to my left. And that’s when I started my journey. This was a quiet journey, in which I discovered apart of myself that I didn’t know existed. A determined journey. I watched the world below me, unknowing to my struggle, my desire to get back to my own world. Along they swam, so easily, so happily. I lost sight of all of them, as I had to push through each stroke of my own. Feeling hopeless in their world where they so easily moved. But I swam.
Eventually the waters cleared and I lifted my head, taking it all in. The tower behind my shoulder. The reef in front of me. My husband closely following. I had done it. I swam over to join the frolicking world of the reef. I celebrated with them over my accomplishment. The colorful party of fish coming over to me to offer their congratulations. Some people say we are a small brick in this vast cathedral… a speck in the universe… a mere drop in the ocean. All you gotta do is swim.