Thursday, September 3, 2009

Last Swim of the Season

Lately the weather has turned cool. It’s a wonderful change from the sweltering ninety degree days that we have had all summer. Fall seems to come on suddenly here in Virginia. I was swimming at the pool one day and the next; I was dressed in blue jeans and a sweater. I had just been complaining to Rob that the pool was going to close for the season on Labor Day. I was already missing the chlorine smell, the impossibly blue pool water and the sounds of kids doing cannonballs off the diving board and their laughter. Then the next day, it was sixty degrees. I shivered at the thought of swimming in this weather but I figured that it would pass and the days would warm up again like they usually do but I think that summer may officially be over at this point.

Last night I walked around the pond near our house. As I neared the clubhouse I could hear laughter and splashing. I looked at Rob and said, “Those kids couldn't be swimming in this cold, could they?” We walked up to get a closer look and while the pool was far from full, there were a surprising amount of shivering children hugging themselves to ward off the chill only to run and leap back in again. I had to hand it to them. It’s like last call, for children. I looked at the water longingly myself but I wouldn’t think of dipping a single toe in the frigid water. I said, “We have got to go one more time, we have to.”

Rob agreed but the clock is ticking and there are only three days to do. Each chilly morning I walk around the lake, the mist rising off and burning away as the sun rises. There is a giant grey heron who sits on the edge of the dock, fishing. I approached the pool and noticed that I didn’t hear anything. I looked inside the fence and all was quiet. Kids are in school, I guess. I shivered at the thought of jumping in the cold water and turned back towards the house.

“Well, I guess we had the last swim of the year and didn’t even know it,” I said to Rob when I returned from my walk. I thought about suntan lotion and cheap novels and swimming laps and watching in wonder as Rob completes a perfect dive every time. “It’s all the years of mandatory swim lessons,” he tells me with a smile.
It’s now dusk and darkness is falling. The pool is quiet and so is the lake. I notice that the moon is almost full now and I hear the crickets droning in the background and pull my jacket tighter around me. It’s too beautiful to feel sad and I happily remember that there’s always next year.

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