The Sweetest AirI believe it was the summer before I entered Jr. High school, and my family and I had just moved to Carlsbad, CA from Colorado. It was a gorgeous summer that year in Southern California (as with every other!) and my brother, sister, mother, and I headed to the Community Pool for a few hours of splashing around. My little siblings and I were each other's main friends seeing as how we moved around so much and really didn't have much opportunity to make any long-time buddies. We were happy to play with each other though and always made up little games and competitions. One such game was one I'm sure every kid plays at one time: the "Who Can Hold Their Breath the Longest Underwater" game!
Me, being the oldest, had absolutely no doubt in my underwater abilities and I went for it. I won of course; came up, no problem. This went on until my little brother decided to one-up the bet: dive down to the VERY bottom of the deepest end, touch the floor, and swim back to the starting point...all in one breath. Okay, no problem for a cocky older sister. I had a very high expectation of myself, and although it was going to be a bit of a stretch to pull off this bet, I couldn't just bail out! So my eyes are stinging as I swan underwater as fast as possible toward the floor, reached out...touched it, HA! Smiling in accomplishment, I turned to go back.
Something happened though on my way, I completely ran out of air (and I don't know how, I took a big breath). I didn't panic; I just tried to continue on my way. My chest was about to burst; it felt like I was being squeezed and I couldn't hold out any longer. I ascended as quick as I could, but I knew I wasn't going to make it to the surface in time...I took a HUGE gasp. I'm stopped underwater, about half way up, just floating there wondering why I wasn't coughing.
I took in another breath, and I was amazed, I breathed in cool, clean air as if I was just waking up with an ocean breeze through my window. The air I breathed was so much nicer than the air was all day! After realizing what had just happened, and remaining underwater with my newly filled lungs, I realized how beautiful it looked under there. I kid you not, the light changed to a soft pink and orange; it looked like a painting. Of course I tried to do it again and got a big mouthful of chlorine, but I'll never forget the day God let me breathe the sweetest air when I needed it the most.
"To see a world in a grain of sand, and Heaven in a wild flower,
hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour."