Follow the Yellow Rope

There are five more days left in July and I am hoping they pass quietly into August. For those who know my July, you know it is fraught with loss and love and hope and an underlying tide of grief more evident in other months.

Granny’s passing was just another notch in July’s belt. I refuse to buy July a bigger belt.

I’ve been working hard my July’s. Giving them credit and remembrance where it is due at the same time allowing myself space and grace. It’s been a process. And it has been work.

Conscious work; journaling, allowing time for myself, checking in on my emotions, my Hubs, my relationship to this world and the people in it…….I don’t think any of this comes to us without a conscious effort.

Thursday after we lost Granny, I met a dear friend for a swim in a lake.

I love open water swimming. I love how small I feel in the middle of something so much bigger than myself. I am vulnerable yet strong. I am at the mercy of the elements. I have no choice but to swim. And so, I swim.

I think of Samantha when I swim in open water. The sense I rely on are gone. I can’t see more than four feet in murky water. My hearing is compromised. Samantha’s senses……all connected to her brain, never worked the way they should. I believe she lived her life navigating through murky water- vulnerable to the world.

I swim. In this murky lake and suddenly evolved Heather no longer exists. I am prehistoric crocodile Heather whose only concern is breathing.

This is the best way to navigate July. To Breathe.

I usually veer way off course when I swim in open water. I am right side dominant which leads to swimming in a circle. But this lake has a yellow rope. The yellow rope lies six feet below the surface- I never clearly see it…I just kind of see it. Following the yellow rope requires concentration- I stare into a deep abyss of murky water and search for the yellow. And that is all I think about- the yellow rope.

And breathing. Breathing is good too.

And suddenly, I have swam across the lake. Evolved Heather realizes she now has to swim back. Crocodile Heather jumps back in thinking about the best place to get a breakfast burrito.

I try to look beyond what I can see in the water- I think of Gran and her last days….Sammers and her last days…..and I follow the yellow rope and I breathe.

Back on land, my senses jump back into place. I smell like a lake. I hear my phone. I see the sun reflecting off the flatirons. Crocodile Heather forgets how to start a car, find there is no room for her tail and so I stop.

Stop. And breathe. And search for the yellow rope. And a breakfast burrito.

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