The calendar said it was October 4th. The app on my phone said the temperature outside was 92 degrees Fahrenheit. The little thermometer floating in the pool said the water was 72 degrees Fahrenheit. I got in the pool for what might be the last time this year as the weather appears to be changing – which I am oh, so, thankful for. Still there is something a little sad about getting into the pool for the last time. I don’t know why, but it always seems to act as a reminder of my mortality.
I eased into the pool as 72 degrees is getting close to beyond my comfort zone. Whenever I get into cold water like that and I am catching my breath as I go in deeper, especially at that ‘special’ place, the thought crosses my mind, “What if I have a heart attack?” Maybe that is why I contemplate my death or maybe there is some other reason. Maybe because I am old. When I was younger, I absolutely could not conceive of life going on without my physical presence. My ego, I guess, simply could not handle it. That is no longer the case.
As I slowly go underwater, the chill I felt coming into the pool seems to vanish. It feels good, in the most oddest of ways, to be completely submerged underwater or is it actually, within the water? It is some sort of surrendering. And, bursting up out of the water is also a completely different feeling, a rebirth perhaps? It is a wonderful feeling of life, of breath, of newness. It is kind of a baptism.
Today also is the Feast Day of Francis de Assisi. I wear a simple medallion around my neck of Francis of Assisi. I am not Catholic. I am nuthin’, I guess, but for some reason, I strongly connect with his insights and lessons and life including the idea that all creation, including all the creatures, are embedded with sacredness by the Creator. Sacredness is everywhere. We are all Brothers and Sisters in this creation. I wear the medallion to help me remember what I often forget.
Beauty is often our portal for our awareness of sacredness and beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and forms. I have seen beauty through the kindness of friends and loved ones. And, like coming up from underwater, it brings a wonderful awareness of life, of love, of sacredness. Often I have seen beauty in the posts of bloggers that I follow. One can get completely submerged with words of wisdom, words of fiction, words of trials along with words of joy, words of vulnerability, words of support and pictures of old barns and green pastures and grandchildren and daughters and beautiful pictures of flowers and gardens and swoosh out of the water we come, ready for whatever comes next on this shared, mysterious journey.
Here is a portion of Francis’s Canticle of the Creatures
… Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Wind,
and through the air, cloudy and serene, and every kind of weather,
through whom You give sustenance to Your creatures.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Water,
who is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom You light the night,
and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.
Praised be You, my Lord, through our Sister Mother Earth,
who sustains and governs us,
and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs…