The diving board stretches out over an expanse of ground that should be a swimming pool. There should be cool, clear, sparkling water at its edge instead of the light blue turf that otherwise adorns the space in its rectangular glory. At first glance, upon driving past, it appears to be a standard swimming pool, its color a trick of the eye, but day after day, in peripheral glances, it eventually becomes obvious. And for some reason, at some point, someone must have thought it aesthetically pleasing, feng shui for dummies as it were.
I try not to swivel my head when I pass these days, because it just makes me sad for some inexplicable reason. Maybe it’s because I can imagine the home owners desperately wanting a pool but not being able to afford it. Perhaps it’s because I can see them inheriting a home with a pool in so much disrepair that it wasn’t worth trying to save. So they bricked it in, but they didn’t have the hear to make it a patio.They wanted to pretend, and I know a little something about pretending.
I should get it, but I don’t. I should understand their motivation, but I can’t. All I can see is the board stretching out over nothing but shattered dreams. I want to stop there sometime, to walk out onto that board and watch it shake with my weight. Perhaps some kind of magic might transform the blue turf underneath into a deep abyss. I can even now see the breeze rustling the surface of the non-existent water.
And I realize that in my own strange way I am them. I am the home owners who could have had something special and were forced to settle for something not quite the same. For me, though, it’s not this diving board. It’s not this imaginary pool. It’s the sum of my own life decisions that have brought me here. I am settling in my soul for something less than what I want from myself. I am reticent to get out of my comfort zone, to take that metaphorical dive.
So I want to get up on that board sometime, to look out into the possibilities, to stare down my own acceptance of what I can change, and hope I don’t get caught.