Swimming in Blessings

Most say I’m crazy. I love to swim in my pond. “Aren’t you afraid of snakes?” “Isn’t the water dirty?” “Aren’t you scared swimming by yourself?”

To prepare, I make sure to wear a shirt over swimsuit. Fish think my moles are food from the fish feeder. I slip on my comfy flip-flops and take off with my little dog, Foxy, trailing behind. Foxy, like me, enjoys a good swim. We stroll down the hill, past the barn, towards the hay fields. Already, I’m hot. The road branches…right towards the fields…straight to the creek. I take the creek path. Foxy and I come to the bridge. Trickling sounds. The creek runs most of the time. Black walnut trees shade me for a while.


Sparkling, not dirty, water waits for me. The birds are fighting overhead. As I pass the lush reeds, a red-winged blackbird runs off some swallows from his home. Is he protecting his nest? I’d love to get closer and find out, but I fear I’ll scare him. Mustn’t do that. Might not see him again and he is so lovely.

On past bright, shiny windmills…standing still…to the dock. There the water is deep enough to dive. I put on my swim belt and hesitate only a moment. I’m hot…water’s cool. There’s a school of fish. Better get out of my way! I’m coming in. Jump! Just like a kid. Just like a kid!

Oh the water! The sky! Nothing and no one around. Just me, swimming in God’s glory. To feel the warmth of the sun on my skin. The perfect sky photographed by the lens of my eye. Satiny, slippery fluid slipping through my fingers. I’m weightless. Nothing hurts. I’m perfect.

Turtles pop their heads above the surface to spy on this creature flopping around in their home, but I never see a snake. I think they are as scared of me as I am of them. They stay hidden, even though I know they are there.

Think. Just days ago, I was in such a state of panic. Fear. God. He created all this. Beauty. Everywhere…His Glory. I behold it. I am in awe. I swim in it. Paradise.

Some day, Beauty Himself will call me home. What a trip that will be. I imagine swimming through sky, past birds, clouds and angels. Beauty, Glory, My Father will wait for me. He has the best accommodations.

But, for now, I’ll swim in the waters of His blessings and be thankful for a pond.

Note: I, Holly Y. Smith, wrote this as a “Note” on Facebook on June 24, 2011. Since the writing of this, I am no longer able to swim in my pond because it simply is no longer my pond. Also, I no longer have my little swimming buddy, Foxy. She left this earth and me…but not without many memories and blessings…like swimming together in the middle of a pond in the middle of nowhere. Now, I’m swimming in new blessings…for blessings are everywhere. We only have to look for them. Praise be to God!

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.” James 1:17 KJV

Hiking on Sunday

Sunday afternoon.  Church services attended.  Noon meal consumed.  Momma & Daddy napping.  A beautiful spring day and I am in no need of rest.  I am young and love to explore, walking randomly as my mind fills with dreams as beautiful and airy as the clouds waltzing their way across azure skies.

I tell no one where I go, not knowing this myself.  The family dachshund, Buster, follows.  Being full of energy and nosiness, he loves an adventure as well as me.  I say nothing, enjoying the silent comrade as he swishes through the growing brush; watching as he jumps above vegetation taller than him.  I know he searches for rabbits.

We make our way across the pasture behind the house, then, across plowed fields further west.  The exercise feels good.  The sun’s heat is like a gentle hand placed on my shoulder, urging me toward the tree line that follows the Middle Sulphur River.  Back then, it was a creek to me.  It seemed too narrow and shallow to be a river.  Rivers were big and dangerous; swift of current, gurgling up debris swallowed up by recent storms.  This river was humble and boasted no such excitement.  It’s debris consisted of trash thrown off a nearby bridge.  Shallow pools separated by dry earth were its bottom.  It was here that my brother and I sometimes fished for the mud catfish that survived in meager waters.

The trek through the thick brush to get to the banks of the river was something only the determined would attempt.  Mesquite trees with long, dangerous looking thorns and innocent-looking vines with needle-like stickers reached out and grabbed at my sleeves and pant legs; often penetrating and leaving hair-thin red scratches on my skin.  My arms reached out and bent tender limbs as I made my own path.  I ducked my head and sometimes felt the pull of my hair as it got caught.

Finally, we reached the river.  We made our way down the steep bank and headed north.  I knew this direction would lead me to the wooden bridge that spanned its width, where the trees bowed their heads together above and filled me with awe. I did not take into consideration the winding course the river took. What seemed to be a short distance, took much time to cover; like a winding road up a mountain.  I had not counted on the pools of water, either, that I would have to skirt which meant climbing up and down the steep banks of dirt, holding onto tree roots and vines to keep from rolling back down again.  Buster was not bothered with this, but simply splashed his way through; cooling off and enjoying a good shake as water sprayed around him.

A sense of fear came over me.  I felt that it was taking too long to reach the bridge.  The darkness of the wooded area fueled my imagination.  What if I got bit by a snake?  What if I fell and broke my leg?  No one knew where I was.  They wouldn’t even be alarmed until supper time if I didn’t show back up at the house.  The joy I had felt at being on my own had been overshadowed by the fear feeding in my head.  Not wanting to go back through the brush, I trudged forward, carefully watching each step, although trying to quicken my pace.

Finally, the old wooden bridge came into view and the fear left my mind like a window had opened up for it to pass through.  I climbed once more up the steep earth and made my way to sit on the edge of the bridge, dangling my feet over the side to take in my victory.  Buster took it all in stride, ever hunting and scouting.  He came to my side panting his happiness.  He knew we would be fine all along.