I inch my way down into the chilly water. Wishing I was neck deep, fully submerged, but cringing at every step. The water is seemingly frigid, and backing up seems so much easier than moving forward. Staying still sounds like a good idea! If I just don't move, maybe I can get used to this. But involuntarily I start hopping in place. I crave the movement. Being here is not good enough. Thigh-deep in goosebumps is not the goal. I want to enjoy this water, I know I will enjoy it once I'm in all the way. Someone cannonballs next to me, spraying me with his freezing drops of freedom and joy. Why did that feel so awful to me?! I balk at his delight.
The encouragement comes from all around. "You can do this! Just get in, you'll be so glad you did." "Faster, Jody! We're all waiting for you." "Look, we're all here and in this together. Let's have a good time while we can."
And I'm trying, and wish I saw it like they saw it. Wish I knew the warmth of water against my chin instead of the creeping cold up my spine. I know I'll get there. I'm loving the sun on my face, and I dip my fingers into crystalline coolness taking delight in how the water slips across my hand and bids me deeper. I want freedom. I want joy. I want health. I want hope. I want light-heartedness. But, Man! This water is cold! But, oh, not swimming is worse.
I'm coming in, really I am. This water is a gift. Life was made for living and loving. I'm ready for both.