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Open up your lungs

July 22, 2018

When I was a kid I used to have these recurring dreams where I would somehow get knocked into a body of water—a pool, a pond, whatever— and couldn’t swim. I’d sink, unable to get myself to the surface. I would hold my breath…and hold my breath…and hold my breath…and just when I thought I couldn’t hold it any longer, a thought would begin creeping into my mind:

Maybe I can breathe underwater.

And so slowly, gingerly, just to test it out, I would allow myself to take a tiny inhale, bracing for water to come rushing into my lungs and drowning to begin in earnest.

But every time, I would tentatively begin to breathe and find I could. It never felt like water. It never felt like drowning.

It just felt like breathing.

I don’t think I’ve ever had one of those dreams as an adult. But I had them often enough as a kid that I can still remember what it was like. I can still feel the fall, because I often fell from a small height. I can recall what it sounded like to plunge from air into the water, what it looked and felt like to become submerged in the dark depths…and unable to save myself.

I can also recall the relief of not needing to.

Maybe it’s an inaccurate assumption that when we’re sure we’re drowning in life, the only way to be saved is to get out of the water.

Maybe…we just need to start breathing.

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 24, 2018 12:31 am

    Mm…some good things to think about.

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