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Ruth St. Denis in Greek Veil costumeThis morning I showed up early for my water class and was greeted with a chorus of, “where have you been?”

I missed monday because of the weather and I missed yesterday because of a writing deadline, but I didn’t realize I had become part of the gang at the pool. Enough that I was missed.

Being missed is a pretty nice feeling.

Today was water aerobics and half of the class could never get warm enough and the rest of us were burning up.

I continue to be thankful for the feeling of moving in water. As I lifted my legs towards the surface of the pool and jumped and twisted I actually felt graceful and light. Not having the weight of my body lifted the weight of thinking about my body – something I usually do when I am working out. Even jogging from one end of the pool to the other was smooth. I was glass. I was ice. I was a diamond.

During class a woman I had not yet met jogged over to chat with me. At 68 she was one of the younger members of the class. She wanted to tell me that she had seen W and I monday night waiting for karate class. I smiled, still trying to follow the leader of the class as I listened. The woman then went on to tell me about a fight she was having with her son. The fight had gone on for three years and it had prevented her from seeing her first grandchild’s birth.

As she spoke the other people in the pool moved closer to her, encircling her in a sort of pool noodle prayer cocoon. She continued her story and then broke down into tears. She patted my arm and apologized to me saying, “you just seemed like the kind of woman who would listen to me tell this story without asking me what the fight was about.” The women bobbing in the water near us smiled and nodded at me.

I told the woman I was so sorry she was going through this. But I also understand that families and family fights can be complicated. Sometimes it’s not so much what the fight is about, but the fallout.

Boy do I EVER get that.

The class continued and it seemed like I had been brought into the fold of the water class group in some kind of significant way. Or maybe I am invested in more than the class now, maybe it’s the healing that it can do.

Image: Ruth St. Denis in Greek Veil costume from the National Endowment for the Arts Millennium Project

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