I AM Afraid of Water

I am afraid of the water.

And, yet, I find it fascinating.

When I was young, I almost drowned. Twice. But I loved summers spent at our community pool.

I love to sit beside the water listening to the waves wash upon the shore.

Any shore is fine by me.

The ocean, a lake, or a river; bodies of water fascinate me.

I look at the surface and know there is more below. I watch the light dance along, the glint of shimmering, blinding light. Or watch the raindrops fall and consequent circles ripple outward from impact.

I like to stand in the water and watch the earth beneath my feet succumb to the force of the waves—perhaps even reluctant to be pulled away by force. It tickles as it’s sucked from beneath my toes.

But I can’t help but be a little afraid that I might lose my balance and fall.

In the lake, there are leaves and sticks and “lakey things” that float upon the surface. When I’m in the water and move in any direction, these “floating things” come at me. I push my hand toward them to sweep them away from me.

But they don’t move away.

I push at them again, and again they flow toward me.

I have to pick them up and fling them elsewhere.

Some of these “lakey things” are dirty. They feel slimy in my hand. There is a stench to this lake water.

Decay occurs here sometimes.

Pools seem clean and pristine and nice. You don’t see “lakey things” in pools.

In pools, you smell chlorine and you know things are “safe.” A giant net is used in pools. You just skim across the water and get all of the debris out. You toss it aside somewhere.

I don’t know where they put the stuff they find in pools.

You have to skim the water often to keep nasty things out. And you “shock” the water, too.

Rivers flow on-and-on. You can stand in them and the water that touches your feet moves beyond you as you breathe. In a moment those drops are there.

In the next second, they are gone.

“Lakey things” are in rivers, too. And sometimes you smell decay. But it doesn’t stick around. It just moves along.

Oceans are vast and big and wide. We cannot see beyond our sight. If you leave the shore, ocean depths are quickly known; especially when the sudden drops occur. It feels safer to admire from the distance, from the safety of the shore. Just look at the surface things. It is still beautiful.

I’ve seen the deep on television. It looks dark and cold down there. But the divers reveal the beauty when they take their lights and cameras. Strange fish live in the depths of the seas.

The currents move things around.

I know there are “lakey things” in oceans. I know there is decay. Sometimes you smell it along the beaches when the rotting death-that-once-was-life is washed ashore.

Raindrops can be large and fall fast and sting when they hit our faces.

Drops of rain can congregate and make puddles on the ground.

We jump in them and play in them; or maybe curse them when we don’t see them and our foot gets surprised when we don’t want to get wet.

Dancing in the rain is fun.

Kissing in the rain is best.

Water falling in drops upon the lovers brows, trickling down their faces as love surrounds and envelops them making the world just go away.

Little drops of water congregate and flow to rivers and to lakes.

Droplets of water fill the spaces, drifting along, churning the deep with it’s current causing “lakey things” to rise, causing death-that-once-was-life to come up to the surface; decay begins to float along.

Who skims a lake?

Can you imagine trying?

I guess it depends upon the lake.

We are water, too, you know.

We are just little droplets congregating.

The Body of Christ had water in it.

Did I tell you I’m afraid of the water?

At least, I’m afraid of water when it’s over my head. I know I can still drown if the water isn’t over my head. But I’m not afraid of water when my feet can touch the bottom, and my eyes can see land.

Is it true that beauty lies in the depths of things? Oceanographers seem to think so.

If we want to see the true beauty of life, isn’t it true we must be willing to dive into the depths of the darkness? Isn’t it true, we must be willing to examine the debris and the decay and to sift through the stuff we find? I suppose as we come across things some of those things we will toss, some we may keep. But isn’t it a true statement that we cannot know if we will not dive to see?

The water fascinates me. It brings and sustains our life.

The glinting shimmer is blinding at times, the surface reflecting what it sees.

There is so much more to Christ. I’m not convinced we always realize it. There is more than just the death we should sift.

Let’s not forget the life of Christ – that continues throughout the age.

The droplets of water congregate

And the oceans came to be.

I am an ocean.

Do you see me?

-Jeani Rice-Cranford