Walking on Water

Hal and I have been swimming this summer, in a friend’s pool, and it has become a kind of haven for us. It’s nestled on the edge of Fairmount Park, surrounded by woods on one side. There are blue and white striped cabanas and comfortable chaise lounges, a field of grass instead of concrete. The only thing missing is a waiter with a tray, taking drink orders.

It’s a large pool and during the week it’s mostly empty. We go at the end of the day, after writing. While I swim laps, Hal walks in the water. I only swim for a certain period of time but Hal keeps going until we leave, walking back and forth methodically, a kind of meditation. He uses his hands when he water-walks, creating small ripples of water around him.

The other day he walked for over an hour, until there was no one else in the pool. Dusk was beginning to settle in and all was quiet, except for the low splashing sounds from the walking. I looked up and saw deer eating their dinner at the corner of the woods, next to the tennis court. He was walking so slowly, so peacefully, that not even the deer were disturbed.

“What is it like?” I ask Hal, on the way home after our first week at the pool.

“It gives me freedom,” he said, “I don’t have to worry about falling like I do when walking on the ground. I’m working with gravity instead of against it.”

 

[*The original title of this was “Walking in Water” but Hal thought I should change it to “Walking on Water”]

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “Walking on Water

  1. There is something so precious about specific places that give us moments of freedom, whether you’re a child or adult. Summer seems to be the best place to find them, and it sounds as though you and Hal have found a most beautiful summer portal.

  2. this made me teary today. not necessarily in a bad way. but it’s so hard for Jeff so many days and he tries so hard in quiet ways. the beauty of this piece and the image just made me sad. but it’s okay.

  3. I read this piece at the beginning of (yet another) hectic, stressful day in which I live “dual lives” battling chronic pain and fatigue (from fibromyalgia) while simultaneously forgetting to be grateful for what “works” in my life. Your words were/are an oasis. The image of walking on water so peacefully and smoothly that even deer are welcome in your environment is, for me, a meditation in itself. I will think of this scene today…thank you…

  4. What a beautiful and peaceful place you have taken us to with this post. Thank you. I got a sense of calm thinking about Hal and the freedom he feels…

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