I’ve done some pool management in my time, and one of my absolute favorite things is to be the first one at the pool. It’s absolutely quiet, except for perhaps the low hum of the pump. The water is still and perfect. It is a manifestation of peace and potential.
Pools, especially during swim meets or practices, are hectic places, full of noise and hustle & bustle. They are a portrait of motion and sound: kids’ voices, adults’ voices, whistles blowing, exhaust fans whirring, pump noise, starting signals, and splashing sounds all echoing off the walls in a wonderful cacophony. Everything seems to be in constant motion, a place where things are happening, a place where peace and quiet and stillness seem impossible.
Yet the water was still before all this began. It was a place of absolute quiet and peace, the water so still it looked solid. It was a place poised to be busy, a waiting place, a place where the only thing going on was the unseen circulation and cleaning of the water. This still water was there before the busy-ness began, and it will be there again when the busy-ness is done.
Our lives are full of motion and sound, places where things are happening. They are full of school and work and friends and meals and errands and chores and sports and social activities and Facebook and texting and reading someone’s blog (I can only hope!). Do we also have time for the still water? Do we make time to calm things down, empty out the busy-ness, and clear our minds? Do we allow ourselves time at the beginning of our day for our water to be motionless, or do we jump from bed into the to-do list?
A still, quiet pool can be a meditative visualization. As we imagine the busy pool slowly emptying out, getting quieter, people leaving, we can slowly empty out our worries, our stresses, our lists. As the pool gets calmer, the water smoother, so can our souls become calmer and quieter. Allowing this time allows our water to be refreshed, to recover and be ready to face the busy-ness once again.