Saturday, July 25, 2009

Swimming Through Seaweed

The water temperature is rising (65 yesterday) making it ideal for swimming. If I can work it out today between wedding rehearsals and a wedding itself, I'll try to slip down to Buttterfly Beach for a quick, 20 minute swim. Ocean swimming takes a bit of getting used to: getting in to initially chilly water, getting splashed by waves, swimming through choppy waves to the buoys, and just the bigness of the ocean can get my imagination running in overdrive. But it's all worth it when I float on my back and look up at the mountains, the sky and the sea birds flying overhead.
What I'm working on now is sea weed! Yuk! I have never liked swimming into or through sea weed. I don't like the rough feel of sea weeds on my skin. When I hit some and I kick furiously, they entangle themselves around my feet and legs and I get panicky. So my approach up until this summer has been to swim around sea weeds (which in our area are broken off ropes of kelp floating like islands). That is until I began swimming with my beach friends (another story). These men and women not only swim through kelp, they swim into and on top of kelp beds and hang out in the weeds. The water (they tell me) is much warmer floating on top of a kelp forest. So while I've not made it to swimming into the kelp beds, I'm learning to swim through the kelp rope in my swimming path.
What's working is to stay calm and not kick. If I swim just with my arms, and let my legs dangle behind me, not wraps around me. I slip through the weeds and into open water easily. But it takes concerted effort to NOT kick but relax.
I'm also learning to swim through the weeds in my life these days...and it's working. These are the weeds or complaint and criticism, of a harsh word or a thoughtless action. They are the weeds of rudeness and bad manners. Let's face it, weeds are all around us. Look at the weed patch Henry Louis Gates and President Obama swam into and kicked around!
Kicking through the weeds is counterproductive. Learning to float through works. "Blessed are the meek"


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