Water Beneath Him, Over And Around, by Mel Dyer

Behind the private school, where I studied until age nine, and twisting through the woods of Suitland, Maryland, there was a wild and beautiful creek, where boys trapped crayfish, frogs and all sorts of things.

Meadowbrook, all sand, pebbles and babble, was quite shallow in most places, such that it was barely enough to cool the heels, but, as if by magic, small stretches of it sometimes swelled and deepened just enough for us to wade in up to our mischievous, little necks - sometimes, even enough to dog-paddle in.

On a mild, autumn day, we'd tumble cool and weightless through this ancient mer-world, thrashing about and laughing like embryonic, amphibian gods.  Leviathans!  By the sheer, collective fire of our impish wills was that backwoods creek transformed into a great channel stretching into the boundless realm of spirit and of imagination!

A secret sea!

Nothing has so bewitched me as those days at Meadowbrook, and nothing so haunts me as the passing of that golden time.  It seemed then, that, so long as we returned to the creek, time and age would flow around us, leaving us forever young, innocent and impervious to the ravages of experience.

Deep, in the soul of every swimmer, is a place, where he pulls the current beneath him, over and around his muscles, and slips into the silvery infinite we might only touch in our dreams.  No matter how far time carries me from the wild creeks of Maryland, my covenant with those mystical waters will never be broken, ..and I pray that I might keep something of the swimmer's soul in mine.

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Water Beneath Him, Over And Around 2011, Mel Dyer and dyerworks.com. All rights reserved.