i have been longing for water and sleep. this summer has been hot and dry. the grass gone crisp. even the mint by the sidewalk was dry, brittle, almost powdering between my fingers. i prayed for rain. joined a collective longing for water.
i grew up on georgian bay. in penetanguishine, ontario. our house wasn’t on the water. my house was in a seventies subdivision up on the hill, but the town itself was on the water. and the water, the gorgeous gorgeous water, was always close by. i spent a lot of my childhood in a bathing suit. or at least that is what i remember. i can see very clearly my grandparents cottage on thunder bay beach. the long dock. the rocks piled high on one side. a tiny sandy beach. and inside the cottage a wild spiral (scary) staircase to the basement. there are photographs of me at age 5 sun bathing. i remember spending hours climbing over the rocks searching for crayfish. gathering flat stones on the neighbour’s rocky beach. and swimming. and swimming.
ever since i moved to guelph i have felt landlocked. the rivers are beautiful. but they do not satisfy my thirst for water. water to fully dive into.
i long for sleep now like i long for water. it seems far away and i get it mostly on vacation! when i find a night of undisturbed sleep, a bay, or a lake i dive in. i feel revived.
today it rained. poured. i was pulling weeds with the thunder. smiling at the dark sky. enjoying the coolness before the storm. the children (four here today) were playing happily as the drops began to fall. and when it let go hard they ran into the street and up and down the sidewalk giggling. dancing. soaked and ecstatic. i took photos from the porch beaming at their bravery. no one else was out. i didn’t even think to join them. i encouraged their delight, but didn’t dance their dance.
i will wait to dive off the dock at the end of august. swim in the water of my childhood and let the slippery water release me momentarily from all my adult “stuff”.
and now i will go to sleep.