I felt the sun bearing down on my body, moving the brush back and forth against blue tile as cold water splashes like diamonds upon my skin, I stared into the depths of the azure water, feeling the coolness upon me, spreading peace through me like a gentle storm.
My mind keeps drifting into places I had not thought about for many years, memories of a childhood, of the scent of the sneaker smudged yet shining gym floors as light flooded in from windows two stories above my head, the image of the silken material draped in a perfect circle, its color a drab army green, the parachute that lay waiting for the games to begin.
Children stood around this circle. Talking amongst themselves and laughing and I remember just gazing at the color, how it seemed so foreign there against the brightly colored painted stripes and circles of the basketball court. I did not know what was to happen, standing as a mere spectator around the cloth I watched, waiting patiently. The whistle blew and I felt a hand upon my shoulder, was told to go lay in the middle, the next sacrificial lamb I remember after the fact, but the smiles of friends and the nudges from those beside me sent me forward to become a part of this challenge. The other girl, I do not recall her name, lay beside me in the middle of this silken circle and the children on the edges grabbed hold of the material and lifted. They began to moving around the cloth in a circle, as the material gathered up tighter and tighter, closing off the light from sight and at one point separating me from the other child within this cocoon. The outer children kept moving until they could move no more, the material all tied tight and we lay within, not knowing up from down, locked in tight.
The whistle blew and the command was shouted to work our way out. I remember the kicking and screaming of the girl somewhere beside me beyond a curtain of silk and how I kept flailing and ripping at the fabric, trying to break free. I think I was crying, I think I panicked and in the end, I believe we failed to emerge as expected. I do not remember anything else after that.
As a child I could never wear slippers or night-clothes that covered my feet. My mother would have to cut them off as I would wake drenched in sweat from fighting to free myself, to breathe. This was that feeling again, except it was all of me, in this maddening rabbit hole, no escape, no light. I do not know why this memory keeps lingering today, as I am feeling so very peaceful, under a vast blue sky, working beside a neon bright blue pool. Perhaps it is just in need of escaping onto the paper, to become words so that it can be set free once and for all, to know that I am not a small helpless child and that I can make choices of what I wish to do. To have the conviction and strength I lacked then, to plunge down the rabbit hole and face the darkness I had feared or to remain on the edge and just opt out. Universal reminders taught to self through time and space, and to take one last plunge into the darkness, to turn on the light and know that it will all be all right. I am learning to let go, to dive in and to breathe.