|I took this photo a few years ago while visiting Portugal...I just wanted to jump in. Water is my religion. It's what I love and fear the most in this world.|
When I was younger, I would sneak into the swimming pool area of our house. I would first get the key to the cabana. Unlock the dark brown wooded door, change into my pink Strawberry Shortcake bathing suit and then climb the fence to the pool. I was only able to do this once and awhile. My Mother watched us like a hawk...Luckily, every now and then, my blind uncle would baby-sit us while she was out running a few errands and she didn’t want six crazy kids to reek havoc on her agenda. Good grief we were a hand-full. I have no idea how my Mother got through it unscathed. On a few occasions, while my blind uncle watched us or really listened to us, I ran away for fear he was going to make me watch the tv show M.A.S.H.
Say what you will about this show, I know people love it but as a little girl that was forced to endure the torture, I hate it with a passion. I still cringe when I hear the show theme song. Many a time I tried to sneak out of the room, hoping my uncle’s blindness would be my ally. Turns out, without sight, this just means another sense is heighten...Hearing...That’s a story for another day...So with my heart pounding and my bathing suit on, I would slowly move my body into the pool. Once in the water, I knew I wouldn’t be found. We had an in ground pool and I knew all the spots to hide. I’ve done this on a few occasions while others were not looking. I took one quick peek around the pool area to make sure no one was there, slipped out of my bathing suit and placed it on the concrete. I padded around the pool pretending I was a mermaid. I immersed my ears in the water to hear the outside world silenced. My hair billowed and softened in water. I felt liberated. I felt peace. I thought I was a rebel.
Now, 20+ years later I still skinny dip. And wouldn’t you know, I still sneak around to do it...This time the ocean is my swimming pool. I can feel my toes in the sand...I quickly look around to make sure there are no on lookers. I disrobe and hide my clothes. I slowly submerge my bare skin into the salty sea...I tread water with fluid motions. My feet don’t touch the ground for fear of what I can’t see lurking beneath the sand. I lay my body out, skimming the top of the glassy surface and stare up to the stars. I only know Orion's Belt and The Big Dipper by sight. I find myself always proud when I can spot these constellations. I dream back to the rebellious girl I once thought I was and I smile. I smile because there are still a few bits of that little girl still holding onto life...Still looking for adventure. Still searching for a thrill. I hope that will never change, no matter what the tide may bring.