Precisely the same time each day a group of campers, 6 years of age, were marched down to the lake for their hour of swim time.
The group was divided, the swimmers and the non swimmers. The swimmers were marched down a long pier that led to the middle of the lake. The non swimming group, stayed right at the shallow part, which was surrounded by a dock. This was the "learning pen". That is where I spent my summer afternoons. During that hour, the counselors would spend a few minutes with each of us, giving instructions.
I can still recall feeling the arms of the counslor under my chest, and his commandments "kick,kick,kick!" My eyes would be closed, my cheeks swollen from its one big gulp of air!
One eventful day, while doing my kicking and thrashing, I found myself hitting the edge of the dock. I looked around and to my amazement I was fifteen feet from from my cheerful counselor! That was it! I sawm! I took another gulp of air,kicked and thrashed and made the return trip! I was a swimmer!
Up to that point, nothing had given me such a boost of self esteem. I was officially emancipated from land! In the next few days I proved that I had earned my fins and was released from the group of "guppies", and allowed to swim with the other group in the middle of the lake.
Many summers later I encountered another new environment. A mysterious and well cloaked realm that compelled my exploration. The female! This soft skinned, finely scented species, was so pretty and so new to me. How was I to navigate this new enviornment?
Well, like that beginning swimmer of years before, I kicked and thrashed, took deep gulps of air and swallowed water. I nearly drowned in my own pool of tears.
Then a cool Summer's night, I found the most tender of touches on my heart. The feeling was so reassuring , there could be no stopping me. The soft touch of Young Love was sweeter and and more compelling than anything I had ever known!
Each "goodnight" was accompanied with a kiss that conveyed a passionate and magnetic energy. I could feel my emancipation from a solitary world of oneness and innocence.
It is this time of year, at Summers end, that I fondly recall the episodes of my summer fun and romance. The emancipated young man who was able to boast "This Summer I Went Swimming".
Milestones and moments....may you all reflect fondly upon all of them. Marc :)
(I'm the one second from the top the of ladder)