By Phyllis Galowitz
Yesterday, I finally “took the plunge”.
Everyday, since the pool opened, my friend and neighbor, Joe Grieco, who supervised the renovation of the Andes Pool which was funded by Walter Gladstone, asked me, “Did you try the pool?” and I, knowing he wanted my opinion of it, had to say, “No. I didn’t.” I’d actually gone to the SUNY Delhi Pool, paying for its use. It’s indoors and heated. The Andes Pool is outdoors and unheated and “lap swimming” is from 5-6 p.m. a terrible time, I thought. That’s the time I start making dinner. After swimming, I’ll have to wash my hair and I’d already done that in the morning.
The television, which is on all day for background noise, in my too-quiet house, kept blaring the news of record temperatures in the northeast, warning people to stay in their air-conditioned homes and not to do anything strenuous. My house, not air-conditioned, was perfectly comfortable. Outside, it was hot and I began pulling weeds, not really meaning to, but one weed led to two and I’m addicted. I couldn’t stop. After filling the wheelbarrow up to the top, I was exhausted and burning up, so much so that I left the wheelbarrow in the middle of the yard, changed into a swimsuit and drove to the Andes Pool.
The timing was perfect. Families were leaving. The sun, beating down on the water all day, heated it to perfection. There were only two or three people left in the pool as I gingerly climbed down the ladder, let go and took my first stroke. The shock of the cool water told me to keep going and by the time I reached the other end, I was in my stride. The water was clear. Reflections danced on the floor. As I lifted my head to take a breath, I could see the magnificent blue of the sky, the softness of the clouds, the tops of the evergreens, moving just slightly.
The rhythm of my arms reaching, pulling the water back, my legs kicking and my head coming up for a breath and down to let it go, brought me an all-over feeling of well being and happiness to replace the sadness that had lain just beneath the surface. ~