Do what you love. In-between the pain and hardship, there is joy. Even during the years where my family of origin limped along trying to be a family, or I tried but felt alone anyway, there were moments of pure joy. Sitting on the edge of a pool with my leg in the water, the crisp sparkling water making rainbow bubbles as I splashed my foot up and down. I never forgot that moment.
I love the water. I always have. And as much as I have grievances against my mother, she did some things right. OK, many things. One was insuring I learned how to swim. I love water, the deeper the better. She grew up by a lake and thought nothing of swimming across it. I haven’t done that, but thanks to her, I do love the water.
I won’t travel to St. Croix in February for a month to escape harsh NE American winters. I could battle the challenges of PTS, and my fear of small places. I could battle it and win. But I am tired of battles and won’t put myself through it. Somehow, Samuel and I will have to contend with winters where we spend too much time inside with each other and hopefully not do each off.
Instead we bring the Florida room to us. Or I do. I bought a pool! Above ground. At first an in-ground seemed so luxurious but the cost is prohibitive, so I happily settled on its alternative. After checking out one place, dusty and old, as scattered and pre-occupied as the salesman, I went to another close-by where the salesman looked me right in the eye and never wavered. There is something so special and rare about a person who does that. Someone who doesn’t try to escape my glare, my search for realness and truth.
We went back yesterday and paid our down-payment. I’m so excited with something to look forward to until the grass greens. We had one all through the kids growing up years. A used one that dear Samuel and friends actually went and took down from another home. They somehow re-erected the rusty braces and voila! A summer resort. Oddly, once the kids grew out of it, so did I and there it sat after they left home. I don’t think I allowed for play time anymore as I grieved their leaving.
But now, to soothe that restless feeling of loss… the ‘if only’ I didn’t develop phobias due to the early years of my life and what my brother took,’ I replace the coast of Florida or St. Croix with a pool right out the back door of the screen porch. My own Florida room. My own piece of joy.
What is your joy? What are more of mine?
They don’t have to be as complicated as a pool. Simple joys are some of the best. The sun on my body as I work at the sink. Breath. Even in in the safety of my own home, my body tends to tighten. I live past the moment, either in the past or the future. It is true that the past is over and the future hasn’t happened yet. Thinking about it, as if I could control either, is not possible, and only makes me lose the moments of now. Being in the moment takes effort but is worth it.
The sun on my body, the muscles relax…the breath.