Maybe it was because of what they called it – the deep end – that it seemed so ominous. They roped it off with a bright red and white warning. We weren’t even allowed in until we had passed a certain level of swimming lessons. Which was funny, because I, we, had been swimming out to the diving towers for several years already. A depth we didn’t know, or think to ask.
And I suppose that’s what made it easier. We only thought about the tower. We had a goal, and nothing was going to stop us. Had we taken the time to think of what lurked below, deep in the darkened waters, maybe we wouldn’t have gone. But we thought about the sun. The sun that baked our shoulders on the diving platform. The figurative and literal height of summer friendships. There was nothing we wouldn’t have done to reach it.
I mention it only to remind myself. Of how to look at things. With fear, or with wonder. The choice of wonder has opened a sea of words. Of art. Of love. Sure, I trip and stumble and even temporarily sink into the unknown, but I will myself daily to keep kicking and thrashing. Raising my head above the murk. Reaching and climbing the next tower. Because the sun!
Some will laugh when I say that arriving in France, I was actually surprised as we drove from the airport — all the billboards in French. The radio in French. They didn’t speak English. I was already in love, and hadn’t thought to ask. Are there a million things to worry about? Sure. Is the tower slippery? Yes. But the sun is so warm on my shoulders. I can’t help but wonder. I keep climbing.