Explorations of mind, paths, and life

Mermaid School

Posted on July 6, 2008 - Filed Under self reflect

As Gary and I enjoyed our weekend in Naples with Carmen & Warren (and sometimes WITHOUT Carmen and Warren- ALBUM HERE <--) we had the opportunity to skinny dip in their great private pool. There is something about floating around in nothing but your birthday suite and a bunch of floaties that reminds me of pool time in AZ as a young adolescent. Floating under the stars, and peddling towards Gary with my feet, he jokingly poked, “where did you learn THAT trick?” I responded, “Mermaid School.” He didn’t take me seriously, and really, who would. However, Monica and I had many afternoons and evenings of Mermaid school, and I hadn’t thought about it for years. Arizona summers, as you can imagine, are hot, and Monica and I had the pleasure of a pool for many years. Aside from practicing my dives, games of Marco-Polo with friends, arguments about who was looking, hours of sunbathing, trying to talk under the water, and making faces, there was my one favorite imaginary game, the infamous Mermaid School. Monica and I would tie up our feet with tube socks and practice swimming, bobbing, and other underwater tricks with our feet firmly together. Story lines would build as we imagined all kinds of things we mermaids needed to do to save the world underwater. We would race, talk about what new tricks we had learned, saved each other from all kinds of treacherous creatures, and pirouette through the water as gracefully as we could, pulling our hair from our pony tails to make ourselves look as much like mermaids as possible. Our eyes, at the end of the day, would be red and painful from the hours of admiring each others abilities as underwater creatures in a chlorine filled ocean. Then, once exhausted, or out of breath, we would sit up on the “beach” and talk about all the hunky mer-men waiting for us to save them, or how fast we were getting, or a new adventure, that would result in returning to the pool for more. However, the most magical time was late at night under Arizona stars.

In the late 70-early 80’s we lived 21 miles from anything really considered city, and the stars were tremendous. Our entire family would take time, before bed, to cool down with a quick naked dip in the pool, Monica and I waiting until our parents were off to bed to take our turn. With just the stars and the pool light, we would swim in the ocean of our imaginations, stark naked, and the darkness made it all the more vivid in our minds. The glow of the moon on the water made ocean ripples, and the chirp of night crickets was some godly music surrounding us. As I got older, those night time dips were magical and soothing; and as we turned into teenagers, Mermaid school melted from our minds. Yet, my body still holds those memories. Those ethereal feelings remain in moments when I have the chance to swim naked in a pool late at night, my feet entwined, gliding under the water in a cool dark silence, water sliding against my skin. Sometimes I wish I could return to mermaid school, and relearn the simplicity and pleasure of playing in the water, mindless to time and tasks, and modesty.


One Response to “Mermaid School”

  1. Monica on July 7th, 2008 5:51 pm

    HEY! I remember mermaid school! I was just thinking about that actually, when Michael & I were swimming in the evening and I was telling him about how we used the pool tiles as “maps” of our mermaid kingdom. Remember that? And I was telling him how we always had a diving board and now NO ONE has one because of the liability. What would our childhood have been like without a diving board?

    Michael wants to put in a rope swing by the pool so you can swing into it. I’m not sure if it’s deep enough, but I think it would be fun.