One morning, the water begins to chill instead of cool. I swim a little harder, warming it and warming me.
The sun stays off the water longer, hiding behind the hedge, slowly edging up. Not like the August sun, brassily reflecting in the water long before I dropped into the deep end.
Not like the summer sun that crisped all skin not hiding under a least one foot of pool-blue water.
The September sun kept the water warm enough to trust.
Until the last week of September, when the wind turned. Days still hot, but the night air sucked the warm right off the water.
I went in one foot at a time, hoping each time it was not the last.
Like saying goodbye to a lover, I always hope there is one more day, one more weightless hanging between dawn and work. One more sliding through the water looking at a fierce blue sky.
This morning it was too cold to swim and I did anyway, lips as blue as the last
berries in the store. Looking up, wanting the sun to rise, I saw the first V of migrators arrive.
The pool rocked water up the stairs as I ran for my towel just as a tired duck took up the space I left in the water. We looked at each other, as we exchanged places and the seasons changed.
—-Quinn McDonald won’t be in the pool anymore this year, but she can walk the sun up every day.