I watch the chickadees in the tree, flitting from branch to branch. Occasionally, one will hop onto the bird feeder and grab some seeds before dashing away with their treat. It’s winter and cold now, colder than usual. The air bites as soon as I step outside, but it smells clean and clear. As I inhale, the cold, clean air fills me, transforms me.
I took a deep breath and slowly moved into deeper waters. As my toes left the bottom of the pool, I moved my legs in the bicycle motion that my dad taught me. My hands frantically paddled the water, and I edged closer to my friends. I was not a very good swimmer but didn’t want them to know. I reached for the edge of the pool and waited while Robin tossed the rings into the water.