Home is where you can smell the chlorine

There are very few places on this earth I truly feel at home. I've lived in dozens of places - different states, different countries, different houses. I've had dozens of jobs. In all of that, most of the time I feel like a foreigner. It takes me months to settle in to a new home or job. I usually function at a level of awkward discomfort that I suspect most people do not experience, and I long for the comfort of home at the end of each day in a way that settles into my bones.

In all of my life, there have only been a handful of places that I have felt immediately at ease. The pool deck is that place for me. No matter where I am, no matter what I'm doing, I am at home on a pool deck.

I realized that this past week, as I set foot as a coach on a deck that I have previously stood as both a swim parent and an official. The energetic calm (how's that for a contradiction?) that washes over me when I walk on deck is something I crave. The end of this swim season leaves me feeling like I have misplaced a part of myself. I'd say 'lost' but I know I'll be back - I know I'll find it again.

But here it is Monday - the first Monday in months that I've not been on deck - and I am lost. A new routine will soon take over and summer will settle in but I will still be left feeling like I am missing something.

And I am.

- hfs

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