Monday, June 3, 2013

Swimming Laps

When I swim, the pool floor is decorated by the sun.  It turns the ripples of water into thin rainbows, taking the shape of moving lines that resemble electrical currents.  The bottom is concrete white with small black square tiles that form into long rectangles, making it easy for me to follow the way to the other edge.

There are two different views at each end. I see them when I rise for air breaks. One is the medium brown stucco wall.  Spools of blue and white lane dividers are rolled neatly, ready for swim classes. The two circles that I search for are the clocks that let me know how long I've been swimming. As I have recently returned to this exercise, I congratulate myself each time I've not drowned for five minutes. This side also holds a lifeguard on their chair, vending machines with exercise defeating sugared soda and snacks, and bleachers for fans of whatever water events take place here.

The other side of my watery travels has a row of beige lounge chairs placed on the tan deck. Behind them is a thin strip of grass that stops along a tall black iron barred fence. This is the side I enjoy resting at as I can see palm trees poking their spiky heads up from the chaparral canyon.  palm trees are not indigenous to San Diego but they are abundant. I believe their beauty is magnified on sandy beaches when the wind tussles their fronds.

From college swim classes, the habit of doing a crawl, breast then back stroke has not left me. The first two I am led by the black tiled lines and can swim in a straight line. There is no constant guide for the back stroke, aside from bumping into the lane dividers; this I do a lot of. In the early afternoon, I only backstroke toward the palm trees so that I am not blinded by sun rays.

Swimming laps is a physical meditation.

Heather Leigh

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