‘A pool of memories’ goes gentle into that good night (The Long View)

0
517
Pool.jpg

From ancient times to the present, one thing is known: all things of this world must pass. This is certainly something I have pondered aplenty in my relatively new divorced existence. Now the lesson is again underscored — the pool is dead, long live the pool.

Longtime The Long View readers may recall, it was 11 years ago our arduous installation of a 21-feet-across aboveground was completed; for 11 seasons we luxuriated in a 10,000 gallon oasis of refreshment and fun at my former home. 

From ancient times to the present, one thing is known: all things of this world must pass. This is certainly something I have pondered aplenty in my relatively new divorced existence. Now the lesson is again underscored — the pool is dead, long live the pool.

Longtime The Long View readers may recall, it was 11 years ago our arduous installation of a 21-feet-across aboveground was completed; for 11 seasons we luxuriated in a 10,000 gallon oasis of refreshment and fun at my former home. 

But last week my younger son called to frantically relay what he was witnessing. Suddenly and spontaneously, the pool walls had sprung 2 dozen tiny leaks.

Online research provided a disheartening explanation. While extruded aluminum does not rust, it will corrode over time. As the small spots of corrosion weakened and finally became holes in the wall, the vinyl pool liner gave way at each of these openings, allowing the water beneath the winter cover to squirt through in fine streams. 

There is no use repairing the wall and liner; these leaks are harbingers of further corrosion failure in the aluminum. They happened suddenly and all at once, as if the fates had previously agreed on the start time to our pool's demise. 

I went to the old house to see for myself and I cried.

The pool authored so many memories and sensations that I would miss. Though I no longer live where it was, it was still a glorious thing. To merely watch the sun dance through its crystal-clear waters was both a joy and the signature sight of summer. Now the pool becomes another symbol of what is lost and will no longer be.

Like sundry other assumptions I’d made about life, I’ll have to let go of all the good things that go along with being the “man with pool.”  For now I reflect on the friends and neighbors who participated in its construction and swam with us in celebration of a job well done. My children when they were still children, welcoming friends on a hot day and emerging hours later, exhausted from afternoon-long splash fests. 

Submerged at the end of a long, hot day, letting the water rinse away all worries and stresses. Floating on my back at night, peering at the heavens while planets, stars, and satellites crossed the summer sky. Feeling good no matter how uncertain my financial situation, for I had the pool to share with those I loved.

That is all in the past now; we’ll pick a day to disassemble it and transport the materials to a scrap dealer. But we are resolved, the children, my former wife, and I, to not dwell on the loss, but on the happy memories we have. 

Perhaps the Younger said it best:  we shall try to celebrate the pool's life, not to grieve its death. The pool is no more, but we will always remember when life was younger and cool contentment was only an invigorating dip away.

 

Pat Grimes, a former South Bay resident, writes from Ypsilanti, Mich. He can be reached at pgwriter@inbox.com.

‘A pool of memories’ goes  gentle into that good night     (The Long View)