I love to go to the ocean. I go every day that I possibly can, rain or shine, summer or winter. Even if I only have 1 hour…hell, even if I only 5 minutes, I go.
One thing that I don’t often do, however, is swim in it. It’s not that I don’t want to (I do!), or that I am a wimp about how cold the Maine ocean water is (I am! But I go in any way!). It’s because I’m nearsighted.
Stupid reason not to go in? Maybe. If I am with others, it’s not so bad. I can take off my glasses and fear not: there are people other than me nearby with a stake in my well-being. I can be reasonably certain that I will make it back from the ocean, back to my glasses and thereby restoring my vision, within a reasonable time frame. When I am by myself, well, let’s just say that there are no guarantees.
But for the first time this year, I gave it a shot. I took off my glasses and put them in the case. I put the case into the bright pink beach bag that I brought with me. I positioned my chair so that it was right next to the stairs I took to get down to the beach. I took note of landmarks near my chair (2 large hotel/motel buildings). I walked a bee-line straight into the water. I continually checked my landmarks as best as I could while I was swimming.
When I was finished swimming and attempted to retrace my bee-line, I felt my confidence slipping as I neared where I thought I had left my things, but no bright pink bag was in sight. I was getting nervous…what would I do? I mentally rehearsed my opening line: “Excuse me-I know this is going to sound odd, but I’m lost…”
It was unnecessary after all. I suddenly saw my pink bag…2 people had put up their umbrella and placed their chairs directly in front of my spot.
The next day I ordered some prescription swim goggles.