Blue Hole, so named for its deep, spring-fed waters, takes my breath away as I leap from burning rock of summer heat and plunge into its chilly depths. Popping up above the surface, an invigorating contrast in temperatures creates a tug-of-war within my body that longs to repeat the adventure while at the same time insisting on avoiding it.
Dripping wet, I emerge from the river to do it again.
Because something happens to enliven this heart as I crawl up the rocky slope to "towering" cliff. Something breaks when I step across the chicken line and with a "1-2-3" jump off and hold my nose.
In the repetition of the day-to-day lived life of wake and sleep, eat and clean, wash and dry, teach and correct and repeat, the adventure my heart needs and somewhere longs for gets muffled, even numbed, as the layers of assumed responsibility pile on and the urgent takes a permanent shot-gun seat, nearly silencing the important voice that whispers to me of healing and beauty and simplicity and nurturing and dreaming and living.
Honestly, I prefer warm-to-hot water to bathe or swim in. There is no shock to my system or need to "get used to" it or blue lips or chattering teeth or shivering limbs. But water comes in all temperatures and sometimes what I want is not necessarily what I most need.
And that is why I jump into Blue Hole every summer. I need that invigorating wake up in my system that reminds me there is more to life out there than what has become comfortable because sometimes the comfortable is really not functioning very well and needs the uncomfortable to come and shake things up a bit to get me to what's best.
I don't swim it alone. Families together swim and jump. My children make the climb with me and in delighted peals and shouts and screams we splash into the Frio River. Many others go before us. Still more go after in a perpetual loop of jumps and screams and "do it agains."
There is the intentional connection of togetherness created in this moment that reminds me I am not in the adventure alone. We prod and encourage each other, reminders that the plunge is indeed worth the shock and the heart-leaping-into-throat. Community gives me perspective and helps refresh my memory on the important things in life and brings wholeness where I didn't know or remember I needed it.
And so I jump into Blue Hole again, listening to the cheers and laughter of those around me, joining in the calls and shouts to others in need of encouragement to take the plunge yet one more time.
For the Essentials in Spiritual Formation Certificate Studies with Dan Wilt