Finding Calm in the Water

Water…. soothing, peaceful, healing……

I have always been attracted to water whether it was a stream, lake, river, ocean and yes, even a pool.

For two summers in a row while I was young, my mom would take us on summer vacation to Bend, OR, and we would stay in a hotel right on the river. I loved that spot. I would walk down and climb around the river, listening to the sound the water made as it ran through, over and around the rocks. I loved that sound…. It was soothing. And there on the river I would relax.

There was also a pool at that hotel and I swam as much as I could. My mom called me a fish. I loved to be in water, feeling the coolness roll over my skin, floating…. letting the water take all my cares away.

There have been many pool, lake, river and ocean swims since those early summers with my mom, each bringing peace to my soul.

I told my husband many times over the years that I would really like to have a pool of my own, in my backyard that I could use anytime I wanted. We both dreamed about the forever home we would one day have and the pool we would build (even if it had to be an indoor pool in the Pacific Northwest!).

And then we moved to Arizona…. a pool year ‘round!

This past week our pool was finally finished and we could swim.

I knew I would love having a pool, even with the work it would take to keep it clean and running…. I just KNEW I was going to love it…

I was right. I have been in our pool at least twice a day, and sometimes more, since it has been full of water and running. I love swimming. I love floating. I love the water.

And I have found the place where I can be mindful…. And just breathe.

I knew I would love the pool but what I didn’t realize was just how much I needed the pool and how much my time spent in it would soothe my soul, bringing peace and calmness to my crazy life.

So early in the morning, before anyone else was up in the house, I got in my swimsuit and headed out to the pool. The water was COLD! At first anyway….

I braved the cold and swam. I started out swimming laps for exercise. But soon, I was not counting the laps anymore…I was just swimming….and noticing……

The birds were serenading me as I moved silently through the water. One bird, in particular, sang to me… different notes, different sounds…all from the same bird. It was if the bird was trying out every “ring tone” it had in its repertoire, making me smile as I listened and swam. Birds were flying above me and they were beautiful.

Early morning, just me and the birds… oh and the cow! At first I thought someone was disturbing my peace and yelling, but alas it was a cow that had wandered from its home and it was talking to me through the wall. I laughed.

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As I swam one direction in the pool, I could feel the cool water passing slowly over my body. And then I noticed my shadow, swimming slightly ahead of me. Beautiful. My inner child was there swimming with me, enjoying the serenity of the morning…. Happy!

Swimming back the other direction, instead of my shadow swimming, I noticed the light from the sun dancing along the bottom of the pool, creating light green and blue designs that delighted my heart and mesmerized my soul. Stunning!

And then I noticed the sparkle of the sea glass and abalone in the pool interior. Wow! It was if there were hundreds of crystals and gems sparkling just for me. Again, I smiled.

I floated for a bit and noticed the dancing light bouncing off of the water, dancing on the wall and trees beyond. Dancing just for me, to the music created by the birds all around. Beautiful. Soulful.

This was my moment. My mindful moment. Here I was, alone with the natural world around me, soothed by the water. And I was just there. Present. Mindful.

I spent time last week talking with the members in my Weight Watchers meetings about being mindful… present….. in the here and now….. and how much our minds and souls need those moments to just take a pause, a step back and breathe.

And that is just what I did for the couple of hours I was in the pool. I was there. Present. Mindful. And I just breathed. The worries of yesterday were gone. The worries of tomorrow were gone. The “to do” list for the day forgotten. It was just me, the water, the birds and my prayers.

Mindful, present moments help us to recharge, renew and begin the day in a calm way.

Who knew that having a pool would be one of the things I would need to soothe my soul and take my cares and stress away?

You will find me, many times a day, in the pool…. swimming, enjoying, relaxing and breathing!

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Mothers Day

As a young girl I had dreams of what I wanted to be when I grew up….a teacher, a writer, a singer, an actress and then a social worker.  The ideas changed and the dreams changed as I grew and learned more about myself and the world around me.

But there was one dream that never changed….. that of being a mother.  From a very young age I dreamed of having my own children and being a mom.  Of course my dream of becoming a mom was for selfish reasons….I wanted to love and be loved.  And I knew that having a child of my own, then I would be loved, unconditionally.

At my very core, the core of all that I am, I wanted to be a mom!

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I was 20 years old when I became a mom for the first time. From the day I was told that I was pregnant, I loved my son.  I was thrilled, excited and scared. When he was born and placed in my arms, my heart melted.

I never knew a person could love so deeply so instantaneously!

And then, five years later, I became a mom for the second time.  And, like with his older brother, I lovedimg283 copy him before he was born.  When my youngest son was born, my heart melted again….Never could I imagine loving so deeply, so instantaneously…not once, but twice in my lifetime!

My dream to be a mom had come true!

My greatest joy in life has been being their mother. Reading to them, traveling with them, exploring with them, playing games, running outside, playing in the sand, laughing with them, crying with them and watching them grow and learn and develop into individuals with their own thoughts and personalities!

Each of my boys is a caring, big hearted individual..… they both are smart, curious and adventurous…… they both make me laugh with their corny sense of humor they got from their dad (which I love about all of them, even when I am rolling my eyes)…. They each challenge me to look at the world differently….. and they each have their own passions and opinions about the world around us and I am so thankful they do.  I am proud that they think for themselves and challenge me to think differently and see differently.

I am so proud of my boys!

I love my boys deeply and unconditionally!

I was not and am not perfect as a mother…. No one gives us a manual to tell us exactly what to do and when we should do it.  I yelled too much, I helicoptered at times, and I didn’t always know what I should do or how to help these boys of mine to grow up into men.  I loved and I worried…about them and about whether or not I was screwing them up…. I did the best I could do, knowing what I knew then.

But I know deep inside me at the very core, that I did do one thing right with my boys, the thing I promised myself I would do as a mom…. I hugged my boys, I made sure they knew they were loved and that they were wanted.

Today, I am so blessed to be mom to these two men.

Oh my, what joy they have brought into my life!

And today, as we celebrate mother’s everywhere, I am reminded of how blessed my life is and how much richer my life is because of the gifts God sent me in the form of my two boys, my babies!