I look out on the ocean, and I think how I never learned to swim.
I took the lessons. I passed and got the certificate. The paper has no meaning. I swim like a stone. I’m meant to stand at the ocean’s edge where the water and I might meet to share the same space.
I have to think that I didn’t learn to swim because my need not to learn was greater than my wish to conquer it. I understand, in a logical way, the abandon, the cool, fluid freedom from gravity that swimming has to offer. I realize the worlds that I will never encounter.
Still I cannot relinquish the connectedness I found when I first had my feet fully under me. It’s a connection I so dearly prize. I cannot give up. I cannot set it aside. I became part of the planet that day. My heart, my soul, my being won’t trade it. It is who I am.
My feet are part of the ground under me. My lungs are part of the air I breathe.
It’s not fear. It’s a “holding onto” the only boundaries I can rely on. After half a century I know. These boundaries – my feet on the ground and the air I breathe -- are a home base, a comfort for me.
Without my feet touching terra firma, my mind would float away, like a helium balloon let go. One idea, one passion, chasing and following, chasing and following, until any breeze could blow me, any hurricane could throw me. I need a home to return or I can't live with an open heart and a free spirit.
My mind needs the rest of me, and the rest of being, fully grounded − at least partially.
−me strauss Letting me be