Labor Day marks the end of summer and with it comes the closure of our public swimming pools! Throughout these hot days of summer the open air pools in our neighborhoods and in our city parks have been a place of much refreshment of body and spirit! Although these past weeks have reminded us of the surging destructive and life threatening power of water in the flooding of homes and communities, let us hold on to the joy of water and its amazing quality when it offers us a break from the extremes of summer heat in the safe environment of splash pools and swimming pools. Luci Shaw writes what I think of as a restful, refreshing poem entitled Water and I will follow her poem in the coming days with a poem by Scott Cairns entitled Sleepwalking on Water. But today I share Shaw’s poem from her collection of poems called Sea Glass. I hope it whets your appetite for more of Shaw. In my next post I shall share the poem which sits on the opposite page from Water – called Fountain – it is a real delight for sure! Pause and ponder her words.
After the first splash I surface
and level out, an arrow pushing back handfuls of water.
My feet dance along behind me and the water
laughs, Keep going. You won’t sink!
Water holds its own while giving way
with a fluid grace. Adaptation is its name. But what
an awkward word! Call it clear, strong, silky,
taking on the color of sky and ocean.
After doing laps I float on top, making
my own shape in the surface that bears me
on its body like an insect. I rest, making
small movements with my hands, balancing
on the column of fluid. As the ripples
still themselves around me, I let the pool hold me.
for the joys of summer
I sing your praise.
For long daylight hours
of sun and shadow,
for sand and seashells
for forest walks and
I sing your praise.
creator of Sun and Moon,
sustainer of tides and seasons
I marvel at our world’s complexity
In sunshine or in rain,
in wind or in calm,
from dawn to dusk
teach me the song of creation
that I might join the mighty chorus
giving you, O Lord,
thanks ands praise. Amen.