I'll swim out.
He'll be watching, a caring eye glinting with affection and excitement.
A hand gently nudging me to go a little further.
A smile of encouragement.
I did use to swim, I did swim out, I swam out far, and deep, but I never came up for breath.
I had my eyes shut a lot. Or I was swimming so fast that I didn't see all that was around me.
Or I'd swim like a dead weight, often feeling it was only a matter of time before I'd sink to the bottom.
These familiar waters feel warmer now, they are a place I want to inhabit and open my eyes to.
Now, I stop, I bob in the water. I'll play there a while, or I'll happily and peacefully just float.
I turn back to look at him and he is still there, watching and waiting.
Sometimes he can't watch or he can't see me, because I have dived right down to the depths, or I've turned a corner, but then I swim back to him and show him all that I discovered on my way.
I'll bring him gifts of my stories, or something I've seen that I'll know he'll especially like.
Now, I'll swim into new places too, my stroke is stronger and I glide through the water with more grace and knowing. A toe dipped in to a forbidden rock pool that I may have naughtily dipped my toe in before, but this time He is there to raise an eyebrow and gently steer me away from it.
Now, when I am standing on the rock, poised and preparing to dive in, He is there in the corner of my eye and the corner of my heart quietly cheering and reassuring. I notice that I pay that little bit more attention to how well I point my toes, how much more mindful I am to getting the dive as good as it can possibly be, and when I am surging through the water on my way back up for air, I know he will be there to share that with.
My adventurous and independent spirit has a place to rest now, a place to go back to and feel safe within, a place to go back to where I can show all of me and bring with me those things I may have picked up on my way that I am not proud of or don't know how to shake off.
Swimming back to him I am sometimes tired, but there is a small trail of lights on the sea bed that guide me there.
Sometimes I arrive and collapse on the deck spluttering water and flailing my arms.
Sometimes I just cannot swim back there fast enough ;-)
It's cosy and warm and replenishing. It is steadfast.