Friday, December 17, 2010

Pink goggles and dental floss

Once again, I am reminded that I am given whatever I need. In the muddle of life, I, too often, forget.

This morning, I layered up and traversed the three-inches of snow the forecasters made into a blizzard to the gym for one of my favorites: a dip in the 88° pool, sauna and shower after. I knew I'd have the pool to myself and I did.

While unloading the one bag that had been merged from my usual two, I realized I had forgotten the one item – besides a bathing suit – I really needed to swim laps in the very bleached water: my goggles. They and my cap were laying on the kitchen table. No way was I bundling up to trek back out. I called home to be sure they were there, then phoned the front desk ... didn't really want to waltz out in my swim suit and naked feet .. to ask if they could unlock the aquatics office. No luck, but there were two pairs of goggles in the lost and found. BINGO!

I sauntered up the to counter, picked both pairs and hightailed it back to the pool. Probably my swim-team-type racerback suit is more than some people wear to work out on the machines.

Got into the pool and chose the black Speedo goggles over the screaming pink set that looked kid sized. I could not make the black ones work; the side straps kept slipping out of their buckle. So I undid as much of the pink straps as possible and put them on. They fit around my head and pretty much over my eyes, though a little less socket coverage than normal. But if they made laps possible, who cares. It's not like there's anyone to see me.

They were snug and emitted no water. Always a plus. But something wasn't quite right. As I was ticking off the first few lengths, things appeared differently. Less foggy and more focused. I could actually see out of these goggles. After time and wear, I had not even noticed how scratched and cloudy mine had become. I could actually tell the time on the wall clock, quite an accomplishment given the level of my nearsightedness. It was odd swimming with such clarity, my arms and hands crisply stroking under the water, the lane dividers evident. This workout had a an entirely different feel than usual. I had clarity literally and figuratively. I could see that for all the whininess of my life, I actually do receive what it is I truly need. Maybe not always what I want or think I need, but what I really do require.

The last time I was aware of such a vivid reminder, I had been a week off in making a session of Quaker ministry school I attended over two years in Philadelphia. I caught the error the day classes started, died for a few hours, was resurrected with the help of my husband and got myself to Philly the next day. In the bustle of packing and taking a paper that was due, there was only one thing I had missed: dental floss. As I was unpacking and placing my clothes in the convent dresser, I discovered a small, unopened package in the corner: floss.

I appreciate the pink goggles and dental floss gifts in life. I am certain they appear much more often than I recognize.

• When was a time I felt I had everything, but the one item I really needed and it was supplied?
• How was I able to recognize it at the time?
• How did I express gratitude?
• What other gifts like that have come across my path?
• How have my prayers be answered in ways foreign to me, but with better results or solutions?

always when I'm in a rush
trying to squeeze everything in:
time, actions, material items

and then my humanness
forgets one thing
always the ONE thing
I feel I desperately need

and every time that
I've been able to notice

the gift of what I'm missing

not always as I had envisioned,
but always there, always useful,
always reminding me
I am not alone

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