Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hanging

Thanks to Antolin for this contribution to our Less is More group writing project...

I have always loved water. Being in the water swimming, body surfing, jumping waves, relaxing; just the feel of the ocean moving you about in one global watery embrace. We start our lives surrounded by water in the most loving environment we will ever have.

Now as a grown man, I still love the water with passion! Race and cruise her body on all sorts of sailboats. From very complicated ocean going fractional rigged racing machines to the sublime uncomplicated Laser (my beloved mid-life crisis solution). How it all started has to be the apex of the "less is more" equation.

As a young boy, dad always took me to the beach. Long walks on the beach holding hands with dad or running ahead "exploring" on my own always included entering the ocean realm. An avid swimmer, dad would always take me into the water way beyond mother's tolerance....as deep as I could be, the assurance of his presence always made me feel safe. I would climb on his back and he would ferry me about as he powerfully swam towards the buoy lined edge of the swimmers area, beyond it, the rest of the world.

Dad would then leave me "hanging" holding the rope that tied all the buoys together in a sine wave parallel to the beach and swim away for his part of the swim. There, clinging to the buoys' line I would see my dad disappear below the waves. Every now and then our bodies would be lifted by the swell at the same time and I could see him speeding away from the top of a cresting wave, splash all about him. The rest of the time, I would be isolated from every sight of land as the troughs between waves only allowed me to see blue water, blue sky.

At those times all there was in my world was the sea holding me. What a pleasure, me in that embrace. With on shore winds, the waves crashing about, the troughs shielding me from any sights or sounds but water and sky, total isolation, total immersion. My only connection to any outside world experience would be the feeling of the rough buoy line in my hands and that barnacle population clinging to the bottom of the buoy. The passing of time vanished.

Eventually, dad's smiling face would appear back from the deep ocean. We would hang together to the buoy line while he caught his breath and rest. The things we spoke about, the silences we shared just bobbing about hanging to the buoy line. Time to go back he would say. I would again climb on his back and he would swim me in. I now could wave hellos to mom waiting for us on the shore.

Proudly riding the ocean on dad's back I was king of the world. Dad was my first boat and if less is more, then I can say a finer vessel has yet to be found.

5 comments:

Jefferson said...

They sound like fantatic memories, I hope to have a positive impact on my boys.

Joe said...

Fantastic story!

bonnie said...

Best yet, I think - and there've been some great entries!

Zen said...

Great!

Anonymous said...

What a terrific little essay. I have hopes of imprinting similar memories on my daughter. I'd like to think that having already shared many "riding on daddy's back" moments at age three, we're well on our way...

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