August 13, 2019
We grow up. Years take from us the liveliness of youth, the wonder of a world undiscovered. Every day that stretches by is another day that saps a mysticism from our surroundings and drives us further into cynical understanding.
Must it be that way?
Tonight I spent another starlit evening frolicking below the surface of the water in my backyard. As innocent as it once was back when I was half my size, I twisted my person, contorted my frame in the weightlessness of the pool. I flicked the pool lights on and tumbled through the light, watching my hand cast amorphous shadows on the walls beyond.
Minutes ticked by one after the other. I surfaced to the group of friends I shared this space with to participate in snippets of conversation before immersing myself once more into that private and joyful world so familiar and so welcoming. On one intermission, I begged the question that came to me whilst floating quietly with breath held just below.
What should I write about on this evening of August 13? My dear friend gave me the answer and thus these words flow from my fingertips as smooth as water flowing down a hill.
As we grow up, we abandon the activities that once brought such joy to us. Hardened to the world and its offerings, we meander through life in hopes of finding something mature that peaks our interest and holds it steady. Being quite new to the scene of adulthood myself, I reflect on my own meanderings and find little that brings me the joy I once felt as a young blooded creature.
Rediscovering my love for not only swimming but the sensation of weightlessness and the freedom it provides woke me up to a side of myself that once laid dormant. These past few weeks were marked by overwhelming feelings of gratitude and happiness that stemmed from this mental release and physical practice I partook in daily. I grew so obsessed with swimming in this manner that I urged my friends to come join me and feel it as I did.
I believe giving up the pleasures of childhood for a mature lifestyle is the wrong move. This idea comes inspired by others I’ve seen indulge in their childhood delights alongside me. Something exists in these rituals that is so sweet and so liberating that to emerge from the activity without feeling a sense of calm is a rarity indeed.
To conserve your inner child is not sinful. Nor is it humiliating. On the contrary, to indulge in what once made your heart happy back in the days of old in place of the other vices that exist is a nice way to please yourself. Be it swimming (as it is for me), humoring your imagination, playing old and forgotten games, whatever. The practice is one that eases the mind.
I am sitting here with a hair still full of salt and chlorine. I am in utter bliss for it.
The words never came easier.