December 31, 2013

Learning to Swim Amidst the Pines. ~ Karen Moon

Powder blue carpet.

‘Forget it. Look at the hardwood. Can’t stand those dots on it,’ my husband says.

‘Kitchen is way too small,’ I thought to myself.

The small room with the fireplace is empty. What are they using it for? There is no furniture in it. Awkward layout.

We trail behind the realtor.

And then I see them.

A line of pine trees in the backyard.

Majestic. Strong. Breathing peace.

And the house becomes our’s.

It also has a pool. We are not pool people. We are trying to become pool people, but pools in the Midwest require a lot of upkeep for a short season.

It was not our choice, but it was how the house came. And so we put the time and energy and maintenance in.

Yes, we can make different choices and change it.

But first, I try to listen to what it is telling me.

I remember being terrified of swimming growing up. My mother made me take swim lessons, and I still remember the terror of having to do dives into the pool.

It was the loss of control that I was terrified of, and I suppose I did not trust anyone to save me if things went wrong.

Four years, we have been in this house. I feel my father smiling from heaven as I have slowly learned the chemistry of pool water.

It has been a long four years as we have struggled through two more babies to add to our blended family, changing job situations, legal problems with my ex and finding balance with my husband amidst it all.

It has not been easy.

I am learning to ‘turn off’.

It was not a skill that I possessed, and if you do not learn this skill with four children, you are done for as you cannot wait until everything is done and everyone taken care of. That is never.

On Saturday’s, I clean my house from the tornado that ravages it during the week. My husband takes the two girls out to his family. The two older boys and I have an agreement that they either stay far out of the way with no comment on my choice of music, or they help.

One sunny Saturday, I finish early and head to the pool.

The magical dusk and the outline of the pines, I swim through the water.

I am far from ideal with my thirty pounds extra from child bearing, pizza and beer spoils over the year’s. And I am still scared of underwater and diving.

But the difference is now I do it anyhow.

I swim to the bottom, push off and burst up, then float. It is quiet and peaceful.

I listen to the pines, and they tell me that all is well.

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Assistant Editor: Gabriela Magana/Editor: Rachel Nussbaum

Photo: courtesy of the author

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