Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Time Travel Tuesday- Swimming Holes

The water is your friend. You don't have to fight the water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move.
-Alexandr Popov

When is the last time you found a swimming hole and dove in alone? On this chilly November Time Travel Tuesday, I say go now! Do it! Don’t wait! I found mine tucked away in a swank Coral Gables neighborhood. It is a natural spring that some of Miami’s founding fathers had the good sense to build a casino around in 1923. Today, the Venetian Pool is treated like any other public park facility. But there is nothing ordinary about it. There are quarried coral rock grottos and caves to explore. Waterfalls and look out towers too. There are courtyards shaded by overgrown bougainvillea and a man made beach. You will find black and white pictures of movie stars who spent leisurely Saturdays in the spring and of course, the distinctly Miami-looking life guards lounging around waiting for the occasional tourist to take their picture.

I left a writing conference downtown and crawled through traffic on US-1 to first find a place that sold bathing suits and than to go on the hunt for this historic gem of a pool. I wasn’t disappointed. When I asked where the changing area was, the young cashier gave her equally young co-worker a strange sideways glance. The kind of face teenagers make when their parents do anything to draw embarrassing attention to themselves. “Your going swimming?” She asked in disbelief. After all, it was cloudy and in the lower seventies. Turn on the heat, break out the hot chocolate, sweater weather for locals.

If you try this, I would suggest you don’t even dip your toes in. Just jump- feet first. After the initial shock wears off, it is well worth the completely alive sensation. I admit I haven’t swam by myself, maybe ever in my adult life. I was driven to go out of frustration. I had just spent three days at a writing conference with author Lisa Mccourt. Lisa’s book Juicy Joy: 7 Simple Steps To A Gutsy Glorious You is filled with imaginative tools to cultivate joy. Lisa paints vivid pictures to hold in your mind as you meditate. The problem was it wasn’t working. I spent the better part of two restless nights in my hotel trying to reset my pinball-game brain. Somewhere around 3 am, I decided I needed to create a memory to revisit in my head. Maybe swimming in cool, fresh water would make me feel cleansed and at the same time refilled. Fanning my hands out and swirling in broad strokes allowed me to imagine my distractions and repetitive thoughts dissolving in the naturally fed pool. Floating on my back, I imagined all 820,000 gallons of pure springs flowing through me, toes to head. 

I don’t know when I will have a chance to find another swimming hole, but I know I can return to that memory. The taste of the water. The smell of cold. The smooth like wax feel of the coral rock beaten under the constant falls. The sight of black birds swirling clockwise like a tornado retreating into the grey sky.

Have you ever created a memory that you can revisit that gives you a sense of peace, hope or relief?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...