A swim

I lie in the water. I close my eyes. I float. The sun sets behind me and all around me, sliding on the water.

This was one of the things that cracked open my grief into wracking sobs – the thought that I wouldn’t swim in the sea while I was pregnant. I had looked forward to it. So now, on the last day, I have come.

I duck my head under. I kick. I drift. I think of the little creature, floating inside me, as I float in all the ocean.

I do this one, small thing.

I think of the day I got baptized, at this very beach. They said it was about death and birth. When you go down, you die; when you rise up, you are born anew. You die to your old self, they said.

I think of it differently now. I don’t see it as a free ticket past death, or as the key to some exclusive community, or some way of erasing self. Birth and death are pretty universal.

But it is a potent symbol. Going down, coming up. Death and birth. Birth and death. The vulnerability of it all. Water clinging to you.

And that is what this world is. That’s just how it is.

I press my face into the waves.

And tomorrow, we will both go down, but this little one won’t come up again. It will die. And that death will be part of me, then.

I float. I am held.

We are held.

I freeze this moment, so that I can always come back here, to the last light shining all over us.

Goodbye, little one, I say.

And I climb out of the water. It’s getting cold.

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