- The Pool Is Oddly Shallow
The bottoms of my feet had just barely broken the surface tension of the pool and I knew it was going to be a cold swim. I laughed maniacally at a volume that was probably a few decibels louder than it should have been. I eased the rest of my body, up to my waist, into the cold water- each further decent met with cackles of laughter and profanity.
The pool is only waist deep, so my usual approach of just saying ‘fuck it’ and jumping in is out of the question. That’s a bruised tailbone just waiting to happen. Incidentally, I noticed there isn’t a ‘no diving’ sign, nor one advising you of the depth of the pool. It is much shallower than I initially expected, and I could see someone diving in none the wiser and spending the rest of their lives in a wheelchair going from school to school telling kids at assemblies not to dive into bodies of water of unknown depths.
Once I was flat-footed in the cold blue waters I waded over to the last patch of sunlight. The Sun was rapidly setting over the highrises of Buenos Aires and I wanted to enjoy this small patch of warm sunlight before the Sun arced away to wake up bleary-eyed Aussies. I soaked up the long rays made more potent by the lower levels of Ozone that separates we, residents of the Southern Hemisphere, from the Sun’s radiation.
After several deep breaths, punctuated by short laughs, I steeled my nerves and sat down in the pool. I felt the cold blast me to my very core as the water thunderously enclosed my head. I roared back up into the cool wind of the late Spring that rustled the first leaves of Summer. Now that I was all wet, I shuffled over to the wall, planted my feet against it and shot down the length of the pool.
The pool is, as best as my depth perception deficient eyes can tell, about 10 meters in length. Roughly 33 feet as we would call it back on the snow-covered prairies where I was born. I’m not the fastest nor most able swimmer, but I can cover the length very rapidly. Any attempt at trying to count the laps would quickly turn to a blur as I went back and forth several times a minute. While some swimmers more concerned with counting reps and laps and miles swam would probably find this annoying. Their precision counts and daily meters would be all thrown off and their frustration would be palpable. I, though, think it is perfect. The quick laps keep it interesting, and their repetition is meditative. My mind is quickly lost in the back and forth. Each lap I try something new, sometimes only my arms, others only my legs, some trying to see if I can make it in one breath, then others to see how fast I can go, and a few on my back so I can watch the white puffs drift slowly across the purpling evening sky.
My time in the pool, though, in actuality chronometrically measured minutes is probably only half an hour. For me, though, it is a sweet moment. The invigorating cold of the water, the strain on my muscles and sinew, and the peace of the water. And the sky, its resplendent beauty enters my soul as I swim beneath such a beautiful vault.