Monday, July 7, 2008

My Favorite Color of All

Pink and yellow have never been favorites of mine. Lately, however, watermelon pink and lemon yellow are shades that will send me leaping for joy. Why might this be?

Among many other things, I am in charge of the pool maintenance. Two years ago, when I was pregnant with my fourth child, I got talked into buying this awful pool filter with a cartridge, and it did a terrible job of cleaning the pool. For two summers I struggled with it, and never got anything right.

This year we got ourselves a nice new filter that uses diamacious (sp?) earth, which I am told is made of crushed seashells and will clean the water down to one-tenth of a micron. Within two days of running the new machine, my pool was sparkling. Now all I have to do is keep it that way.

Every morning I test the pH and chlorine levels. Normal pH is about 7.6, indicated by a watermelon pink. A higher level indicates the water is too basic, and needs acid – vinegar will do. A lower level indicates the water is too acidic, requiring a few pounds of baking soda to make it more basic. Normal chlorine level is about 2.0 parts-per-million, indicated by a lemon yellow. Hence my earthly happiness is made complete by seeing these two colors indicated in my daily testing.

When I was little, I used to have to take swimming lessons. I sure hated them. They were usually at around 8:00 in the morning, so it was cold. And it was boring. But I became quite an excellent swimmer, swam on the swim team, and eventually became a lifeguard. I am thus able to give my own children private lessons in the comfort of their own pool.

When I am under the water, the rest of the world seems to stop spinning. It is impossible not to live totally in the moment. I feel my muscles respond to my brain’s commands. I feel my heart rate pick up. I am aware of the amount of oxygen reaching my lungs and time my breathing accordingly. The mechanics and rhythm of the strokes and accompanying kicks are all that my mind can hold: stroke, kick-2-3; stroke, kick-2-3. . .

Elementary backstroke is the stroke perfect for admiring the blue sky and fluffy white clouds. I float on my back, with my arms fluttering just enough to keep me moving in the right direction. The canopy of trees borders on all sides, and at that time I think nothing of the debris they will drop into the pool; I am thinking only of how the gentle breeze moves the leaves ever so slightly.

I love to watch the glee on the children’s faces as they enjoy the pure happiness of splashing around in the water for as long as I will allow.

Truly my favorite color is blue, the color of water and the sky. God knew what he was doing when he surrounded us with that calm, lucid, peaceful color.

Painting above by Mary Cassatt, Two Women Seated by a Woodland Stream,
1869; Private Collection, Paris

1 comment:

Christine said...

I really like all your art work on your blog!