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Swimming in a lifetime of joy at Maroubra Beach

Maroubra Beach from Arthur Byrne Reserve, July 2018 (picture by author).

Swimming Maroubra Beach aged 12,
I walk out through the chilly waters
near a breaking wave and
the thrill of life fills me
at the point of decision:
to rise over the precipice 
and stretch my neck high,
or dive under the body of water 
and feel the tide roll over my back …
I take a moment to taste the salty water
and sense the warmth when I stand;
I spy my sister Claire out beyond the breakers,
a capable swimmer enjoying the surf,
now dad’s on his way, prescription goggles tight,
diving under each wave and slapping his arms on water,
coming up for air,
that thick broad glorious smile spreading wide across his face, 
a lifetime of joy on his home beach.

My grandfather Pop called this his swimming pool,
provided just for him: a place to move and discover
oneself on the edge of a capacious ocean, 
riding the waves and wading through troughs,
ever watchful of rips.

Back on the beach, towels unfurled and
glistening wet backs in the sun,
we feel a satisfying sense of achievement
and breathe out awe. At the arrival 
of fish and chips we tuck in and relish each bite.

Published inpoetryspirituality

One Comment

  1. Geoff O’Brien Geoff O’Brien

    Tasty salty memory James. Thanks. G

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