New goggles, new year

It’s my new goggles. Yes, they’re comfortable and fit well. They don’t leak, fog or distort what I see in the pool either. But it’s more than that

It’s that moment, each time I swim. I’ve swimming, moving kindof rhythmically in the lap lane, dodging lane-mates who don’t follow lane-sharing etiquette. Each time, every time there’s an intuitive moment. I lift up my goggles, pulling them righthandedly atop my head, and look out in front. And, each time, I am surprised by the light in front of me.

When I swim at dusk, it’s less dark. In the morning the bright sun is more intense. Each time I am caught off guard by the light. Goggles up, I swim with my head up for half a length or so of the pool — just enough time to be surprised by the brightness and clarity. The light elevates my soul, every time.

Every summer I gloriously savor the peaceful meditativeness of morning laps at local pools. The city pool provides one vantage, a friend’s backyard pool a different one. But this summer I fearfully opted out. The world seemed too scary, and I just wasn’t sure. Until mid-August when the loss set in. Loss of ritual, exercise, and time set aside.

And good news was announced: a nearby pool offering advanced lap signups. I logged on and chose a day, and another and another, swimming into October! A gift of normalcy, morning or evening, sunny or rainy, hot or cold. One nutty day I only got in five minutes. Some days I had company — my 16-year-old daughter who lovingly mocks my pace and breaststroke kick deigned to share a lane with me. I kept swimming. Each time, I raised my goggles and looked up, again and again, struck by the light.

The pool’s closed now, and my goggles sit forlornly in the car below a snow-dashed windshield. I could bring them inside, but, not now. They still remind me to look up and notice the light.