If I were asked what my favorite part of living life as a hippie child, it would be swimming in the river. We grew up along the beautiful South Umpqua River; far enough upstream to be cold, crisp, and refreshing. That didn’t stop us a toddlers, as we crawled right into the water, eyes wide open. Salamanders and crawdads delight the curiosity of identical toe-headed babes. We grew as fearless swimmers. We had these classic swim “bubbles”, a styrofoam float strapped to your back, and seem most inclined to put you face first into the water.
In retrospect this was clearly another Darwinistic test to survive childhood before modern safety conventions.
Treading water is an art.
It takes strength, patience, and fluidity to stay afloat for long periods of time. Most people who grow up swimming in pools or oceans don’t really experience treading water the same way as in a river. In high school I would easily swim for an hour or more just treading water in place. I would twirl around in a figure eight that works your abs exquisitely. Alternating between more vigorous activity and then floating to rest and practice balance. By the way, rivers get my vote for the best places to skinny dip (though I enjoy any good swimmable body of water).
I feel that my life today often calls on these foundational skills that I acquired so uniquely through my upbringing. I strive for balance between all of the various ebbs and flows of my life. As a mother and entrepreneur, I am stretched in every direction. But most of all, I am stretched by myself. I continually challenge myself.
Even when my calendar and life overflows, I still continue to dream and vision and create.
I am at a place in my life where I could be treading water, I could be taking it easy. I could choose many things less demanding than the life I have chosen, and yet I am compelled to take on more. To share with you. To do my part to give back. To save the world, at least a bit. To connect with people the world over. To make a difference. To say yes. To ask for more. To give more. To be more.
Even if sometimes I am swimming my heart out under the surface, I thrive on the magic of it all. This life of mine that I have been so fortunate to have been born into and created along the way.
This life that I create each day.