My Grandmothers Greatest Teaching

When I was little, my grandmother (Grams) and I would swim inside their pool. She was a full bodied woman and I always took such care in looking at her. The way she moved, the way she took care of her hair (we weren’t to splash, although I still did), and the way she thoroughly enjoyed being in the water.

I was always a little shy, and even more shy when I had to wear a bathing suit. I didn’t feel comfortable that my skin wouldn’t take color the way others did and that you could see the blue and green veins through my skin because I was so thin. She never moved like I did. She always took her time but got many things done. The greatest teaching she ever gave me happened inside that pool, and it is becoming more and more impactful with every year of my life.

She could float.

She could float for, what seemed like, hours. Effortlessly. It was magical.

When I think back to her floating, my memory is of being able to see her from the sky, floating around and around, no place to be, no place to go, nowhere other than here.

I tried and tried to float. I asked her many questions about how she did this with so much ease, missing that that was my answer.

She said “you can do it, Melanie, you just have to stop moving and relax”

I was able to float on and off but never for as long or as easy as she could. I always felt like I had to try or I would be pulled under. The only times I successfully floated were when I decided it would be ok if I was pulled under, that I would be ok.

I would go under and come back up. That was the answer. That was the key.

Try less and be more.

So what if I go under, I can always come back up.

And, after a series of numerous attempts, I learned that the more I “tried”, the more often I went under. When I softened my body, let go of what was happening, that was when I was able to taste a little of the magic that my grams had been trying to show me. I didn’t have to try. I had to be.