Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Great Grate

I like water.  I like to drink it. I like to lay by it while sunning at the beach.  I like how it can cool me off when the humid summer has taken over. I like how it warms me up after a chilly morning run.

But I am scared of water.  It is rather silly actually.  You see, I just may think a "shark (I use that term lightly)" is going to get me.  This fear of a shark "getting" me can occur in an obvious place such as... THE OCEAN!  But embarrassingly enough, this fear can present itself while participating in sharkless places such as a lake, river or even a swimming pool (yep, I said a pool).

I noticed my little "problem" as a teen-ager. I loved to swim laps in our indoor pool in Alaska. We were lucky, in such a cold place, our little neighborhood had this pool.  Surprisingly, it was rarely occupied during adult lap swim.  And although one might think this was a good thing, for me, I quickly found out it was not. 

One day, while swimming, as I made my way toward the deep end, I glanced down and noticed at the very bottom of the murky water, a grate.  I remember thinking to myself, "Whoa, this water is deep! Why is the water so much darker down there?  And geez, what the is under that grate...sharks?"

I seemed fine in my thoughts until I reached the other side and headed away from the deep end.  As I swam further from the "deep," thoughts started creeping into my head such as, and not limited to, "has something entered the water through that grate?, is it coming towards me?, why am I here alone?"...and so forth.

And just like that, from that day on, I had a fear of water.  I bet your wondering if I swim today....hang on a minute.

I bet you have a GREAT GRATE you are dealing with right now. We all do. Sometimes these grates are small but seem so scary (these can be really tough because others may not know).  Other times, they are so large, it's obviously frightening. 

This year, like you, our family has had our fair share of "sharks under the grate."  This go 'round of trials, was in no way easy.  But interestingly enough (durng my own tribulation), I was given the opportunity to journey with a few other dear friends during their battles...making mine seem so small.

It was like I was given a pool of the clearest water (probably bottled Fiji). Handed to me, were goggles, with the perfect fit (no leaks, no painful circles forming under my eyes).  The lenses were free from scratches, they didn't fog, enabling me to see the entire body of water with clarity. The cool water clear, I could see all the way to the bottom...and there was no grate.

So back to me and my fear of water. 

I was given Jack. Our dear elderly neighbor Jack.  He never knew I had a fear of sharks in our pool. He didn't realize that the grate at the bottom scared the living daylights out of me each time I turned my back on it. He was just there, each day...swimming.

But you know what, I was able to swim because of him.

And today as long as I have someone with me, I can swim...I know you can too.


Cherilyn said...

Heather - you are just awesome. I miss your silly jokes and you laughing at them! My Great Grate is flying. If you don't ever see me again you'll know I just couldn't get on the flight from Peru to the states! I need your double dare to become more - I can become more! I don't remember you posting about Jack - you'll have to tell us more. I didn't even know about Garth's job. I knew about his health issues (a little anyway). I'm sorry that 2011 has been so trying. You are beautiful!

Mom N said...

I love your blogs and life experience writings. They should be published I think. You touch a great many people with your thoughts and one of those is me. Love you lots.