I tricked myself into filling out the sign-up sheet when I was sure I wasn’t looking. I told myself it’s the last one (even though I know it’s not). I think I would be more comfortable helping to run a swim meet. Or helping to organize it. Or volunteering. Or something. It’s just not really my most favorite thing… swimming in swim meets.
It’s my big brother’s birthday today!!!
It was a thought in passing. Years ago, Craig – dear, burly, crusty, sleeves of tattoos Craig from work – had always told me, as he watched me sign up for my 8, 10 and 15 mile swims: “Remember, Alcatraz is next!”
At the time, I would laugh. Never mind the fact that Alcatraz is three thousand miles from where I live, I knew little about it except for these three things: the currents are strong, the distance is short, and I am (was) slow.
There is something about that mountain.
Sharp and jagged, a craggy outline against an endless sky. Defined. The edges in his face are all wisdom. Snow capping the peaks. Descending only so far and then, abruptly, no further.
My mother knew that mountain’s face before she learned to read. And I… I, too, found my beginning in his shadow. Her brothers never left his sight, for in it they are forever home. And perhaps there is something of the mountain in those men. Strong. Stately. Wise. Proud.
Swimming used to be instant:
Just add water.