New Beginnings

Tap water’s surface

with trembling,

outstretched hands

and dive in.

Not yesterday’s blood red

sunset, carving fear

across the horizon,

or reassurance

of tomorrows wrapped

in fleece comfort,

but the moment of inertia,

submerging through surface tension,

first ripples spiderwebbing,

bubbling with life.

It’s time for another W3 prompt (Wea’ve Written Weekly) at the Skeptic’s Kaddish. This week, Sylvia shared her looping prompt poem “Cold Feet”, which you can read here, and one simple prompt guideline, which was to include the word “water” in your poem.

Admittedly, I probably have too many photos of water of some sort– from the many bodies of water in our nearby area, to ocean sunrises, to snaps of Lakes Superior and Michigan, and waterfall images from trips…it seems I have an obsession. I am fortunate to have mostly positive memories of water, and to be a decently good swimmer who learned how to feel safe in water at a young age.

That said, I do have a couple more dangerous water memories that stand out to me. One is the time I fell through a thinly-crusted-over hole while ice fishing at a school-sponsored event back in high school. Fortunately, I only fell through up to my thigh, but I was freezing and shaken, and I returned to our school building early from the event with a couple friends. To this day, I’m not a fan of ice fishing.

Another memory that I can laugh over now is when I first attempted surfing. My husband and I had a short lesson one morning during our honeymoon in Maui and then decided to go out on our own the next afternoon. My husband said he felt “at home” back in the Pacific Ocean, and he surfed like he’d done it before (maybe he did as a kid in the Philippines; the skill returned like riding a bike). In contrast, I was knocked over by the first big wave and caught in an underwater spin where I was pummeled by surf, rocky coral, and my surfboard in turns. My husband saw me flailing like a weird, sunburned fish and calmly pulled me to the shore. The reef had beat me up pretty badly, and I coughed up a hearty amount of salty Pacific, but I still felt that crazy love for water. I went surfing again this year actually, with mild success!

20 thoughts on “New Beginnings

  1. My father learned to watch me closely when I was near water before I finally learned to swim. He must have rescued me several times each year. I just kept thinking, “It looks easy. I must be able to do it, if I keep trying.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There was a group of surfers every day near our beach house. All ages, too, and skill levels. One day there were no waves at all, but they still went out and waited. I myself stick closer to shore, but I love the waves. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I really love this poem and read it through several times, but I think I like your sharing those tidbits of your life even more, Sarah! I’m impressed that you returned to surfing after that first experience 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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