Rather than a regular update on the everyday happenings, I’ve decided to toss around some prose; stories of memories that tie into a few of the recent events. Bear with me, I just thought this up on the fly. The nagging feeling of a long overdue post left me wondering what exactly to write about. I’ve felt weirdly nostalgic, philosophical, and introspective all at once lately, so this seemed like the best way to present it (in installments, of course).
Weather like pools
My first winter back from Spain had been an especially brutal one. I had quickly become accustomed to the mild temperatures those same months in Madrid had shown me. After only a year’s time, I felt like a foreigner in my own home during that first winter back.
In typical Baltimore fashion though, the frigid chill of that winter would long outstay its welcome. No, we would not feel the gentle embrace of spring; residents rising to another rainfall, stooping against the chill of the wind, wondering when the sweaters could be retired for another season. But then, suddenly, the icy hand dropped away, leaving burns in its wake from a grip that lingered far too long.
The only solace from that first stuffy day was found in the arrival of its impending night. I had worked late and leaving the building, traversed my familiar path past the hospital, over the light rail tracks with its unintelligible traffic patterns, and down a shaded side street into the heart of Mount Vernon. My thoughts were light that evening and my mind drifted softly, aimlessly, to and fro, like a feather shed by a passing bird.
Something felt familiar, but I couldn’t place it until the gentle breeze that billowed down the street blew not over, around, or through me but almost was a part of me. Like the water in the neighborhood pool that summer.
It’s a peculiar memory when I think about it; why I remembered this so vividly when it seems, in the grand scheme of my childhood, insignificant. But, it evokes a deep happiness within me that came flooding back through that evening’s prematurely summer air.
The water was clear and reflected the falling summer sun that had been warming it all day. The atmosphere around us was neither hot nor cold; it simply existed with us in it. These two separate planes were bridged when we left the world of concrete for the freedom and fluidity of the blue abyss below. But there was no change; no language barrier or culture shock. The air, and the water, and our bodies shared a single warmth that wasn’t quite warm or cool but just was. It was the happiness of feeling completely comfortable, at ease; the child-like belief that all is right with the world because it all exists in this moment.
As I walked down W Read, past the storefronts closing for the evening, I smiled, heart full. The gentle breeze that billowed down the street was a part of me, my mind reflecting off the surface of the pool that summer. It all existed in that moment, and all was right with the world.