Thursday, July 22, 2010

A vision of comfort

I feel the water lift my body to a new form and tip my head back to wet my hair then feel the luxurious coolness soothe me. My outstretched arms float along the surface, moving gracefully like tree branches in the wind.

A dozen or so aging swimmers stand in loose formation, chest-deep in the comfortably warm water stepping in place to 1950's music.  "Splish Splash I was taking a bath..." one sings a few bars and we all begin to march in time swinging our arms until the instructor begins to call out movements that are reminiscent of Jazzercise moves.  

Swimming is the best form of exercise I can imagine. No sweating, no falling down, and best of all no one can see me jiggle. After 20 or so minutes of exertion, I welcome the slower pace as we stretch out, push in, sway and flex to loosen the tight muscles. It  is then that I realize something truly liberating: I could do this even if I was blind.

As cataracts continue to cloud the vision in my one good eye, total blindness worries me. It is hard to imagine how I would spend my days without being able to use my computer, walk my dog, cook, shop and read to my grandchildren.

Once again, the water comforts my soul, reassuring me that it will be there for me even if everything else fails.

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