Swimming alone

Swimming hands
Swimming hands
I thought today about swimming in an empty pool – a pool empty of people. That time in Finland when I found myself

alone at the baths in Kouvola and was able to swim back and forth completely without anyone else to take account of.

The high glass wall with the sky and the arms of the birches trees and pines outside in the sunlight.

Or that time here, too, where I was all alone in the water, one morning in winter, when the overhead lights in the hall were off

but the underwater lights shone and, illuminated from below, I swam in light, and my strokes were the only ones to break the surface.

All the pools I remember from my childhood, my teens, are seething masses of water and limbs

kids screaming and splashing, chasing and pushing between one another slippery-wet like eels or seals.

Were they always like that, those pools?

Or did they too have their quiet moments when adults could be serious about swimming their staid lengths back and forth, back and forth?