The Person in the Pool...

The Person in the Pool…

1,800 miles. 27 hours on the road.  Does that give you thoughts of excitement or boredom?  Would you do a road trip like that?  Have you? 

No matter the distance, the destination or the design—traveling adds a paragraph, a page or chapter to our stories.

This chapter involved people.  I love to people watch.  It arguably could be the least expensive thing about traveling.  It’s always entertaining.  And it’s educational.   

At the pool I watched a family with a son about the same age as my niece.  Bulky swimmies, joyful splashing, the purest laughter.  Never asking to get out…only asking for more:  “Do that again, Daddy.”  I closed my eyes.  Just to listen.  Some time goes by…I open my eyes.  Still there.  A break from playing in the water, just to float and relax.  Dad and son.   Teaching the love of family and of water.  That scenario repeated itself day after day.  Family after family.

I remember those days.  

At a coffee shop I overhead two women talking about life—their fears in this current world.  The anxiety they have been feeling navigating this new era of Covid.  The challenges of work and relationships and life, right now.  They were confiding in a friend for comfort.  

I have done that.  

Taking a hike, we observed clearly those in the group who were happy to be there—committed to several hours outside, challenging their physical abilities with every turn, ready for anything—it was probably their idea to venture on this hike; and with them…the one who was just their to put an end to the nagging:  “Please go with me.  The weather is beautiful today!”  As each group would pass, we would chat about who was who.  

I am sure they did the same with us.  

Back at the pool (yes, multiple times a day) I saw an older gentleman help his wife onto a floating raft.  Her right arm was not usable;  her sun-tanned body was frail.  He moved ever so gently—the buoyancy of the water making it bit easier to prop her up.  I thought about the love, the care and the years together that made him just know that her happy place was there.  

I saw myself in that couple. 

I even watched my friends.  While conversation is happening in a group, I listen—of course, but I love to sit back and just watch.  Their choices, their humor, their generosity, their endurance, their joys.   Our friends are all very different from each other.  In fact, we joked, that if we got all of our friends together—there would probably be not a few awkward moments.  But, I guess they really don’t have to hit it off with each other.  I digress!

I am grateful for those that make my life so full.

People around the world are as different as the landscape, the food, the smells, the weather.  But are they really?  We all have stories that are written by time and circumstances. We hear those stories and find that we really are the same.  Same struggles, same joys, same needs, same cycle of life.  

It’s humbling, really.  And that is one of the many reasons I love to travel.  To gain perspective.  To learn about myself by observing others.   

Thank you, all the people I watched, for making this trip memorable.  

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