It's hot. Really, really hot. Not that I mind; winter is with us a long time after all. However, summers like this one are few and far between, so when it hits you notice. The last I recall was decades ago, when even the lake was so baked by the sun it didn't bring relief.
More typically, summers in this part of our world can get the heat, but it's broken by the crack and roar of a thunderstorm, which lifts the mugginess for a few days after. Or there might be a dry season, but it comes with reasonable temperatures.
This year, humidity has carried us over 40°C many days and you don't have to be a farmer to be praying for rain. Cornstalks stand tall, straight, reedy reaching and begging for moisture to quench the thirst. Browning grass crackles beneath our feet, while flowers sag wearily by day's end. We attempt to hydrate and refresh gardens with nightly soakings, but the relentless sun beating upon them has their perkiness fading by mid-day.
Yet, when we are watering, how tempting those sprinklers and hoses look. This heat's enough to drive anyone to water. Cool showers or soaks in hot tubs — now more aptly perhaps, cool tubs— help to bring down the body temperature. The favourite way of finding respite from the heat and humidity, though, is to head to the beaches and pools. Swimming isn't just a terrific way to exercise. For some, it can even be a passion.
Both of my daughters are water babies. From the time they could duck their heads they took to swimming like my sons did to dry land. While the boys demonstrated their athleticism on diamonds and fields, the girls dove into waters. They were both strong swimmers, who spent several summers as lifeguards at the local pool. Yet it was their grace that was most admirable. With gliding, precise strokes they sliced through the water making the sport look easy. There was such elegance to their movements that I would often just sit and watch them.
Needless to say, when they became moms, their youngsters were thrown in the deep end early. For that matter they've been thrown in to every body of water they've been near since. My oldest daughter's two preschoolers have cavorted in the Gulf of Mexico, waded in a man-made lake and puddled in a city pool. They are vacationing with Mom and Dad in northern Ontario at the moment and, if the pictures are any indication, taking every opportunity to chill out in the picturesque French River.
These are the images that kept coming to mind when I was thinking about clipart collections to highlight today. It dawned on me, too, that not only are folks hiding out at the lake or languishing poolside, but Olympic athletes have been bringing home medals for their prowess in the water. Actually, here in Canada, the majority of the total medal count has been for swimming, thanks to one 16-year-old female athlete.
Penny Oleksiak has made history. She is the first Canadian to win four medals, which includes gold, in one Games. No question she has become our country's treasure in these Olympics. So with the same pride as every other Canuck I'm celebrating her successes.
These days too, though, I'm smiling at pictures my daughters emailing, and remembering another time and another two 'fishes' who came before them. Also, like so many others, moments of each and every day are spent thinking how nice it would be to throw myself into the refreshing waters off a sandy beach or in a backyard pool.
These cool illustrations then highlight the idea put us all in the swim.
iCLIPART.com Swimming Illustrations
Clipart.com Swimming Illustrations