At Your Pleasure

August 4, 2011

August is here — and that means summer is in full swing. Are you swaying to the music? Creating your own tempo? Are you doing things that give you physical and sensual pleasure — whatever that means to you?

Maybe it’s simply taking time for a nap, a leisurely swim, or reading a book all the way through. This month’s edition of honeypot is all about pleasure. Sounds easy enough. But sometimes when you set out to find your bliss, you find that the distance from here to there is rife with challenges. Take it from me; you can get there from here.

A Bigger Splash

One glorious summer day, not long ago, I had the good fortune of being a guest on my friends’ handsome sailboat on beautiful Lake Pend Oreille, in northern Idaho. By all accounts, it was a perfect sailing day — the wind was strong and steady with plenty of sunshine beaming down from a cobalt blue sky.

My hosts were engaging, generously sharing the history of the region as well as nature’s bounty, “Look… at that grove of aspen trees… and see there… a bald eagle is flying towards that fir tree… and shhhh, don’t tell anyone… but this is the best area to fish for rainbow trout.” I wrapped myself with a light blanket and melted into the comfort of it all as we sailed what seemed like forever.

And then the wind changed…

Until then, the bathing suit I was wearing under layers of clothing was a non-issue. But as the wind died down and the temperature climbed, conversation turned to swimming. “It’s getting really hot. We’ll anchor the boat in this cove and swim,” offered one of my hosts.

“Swim?!” I exclaimed. “Yes, swim!” she replied. “I thought it was too cold to swim in this lake. It’s glacier fed, isn’t it?!” I sheepishly asked, wrapping the blanket tighter. “Yeah, it’s cold,” she said, unfazed, “but the water feels so good once you’re in.”

I stopped listening as a feeling of dread gripped me — bathing suit dread – exposing fat-thighs-and-flabby-arms bathing suit dread, to be precise.

Before I knew it, my hostess, in her sleek yellow maillot, gracefully dove off the high-pitched bow. She shrieked with delight as she surfaced from her deep-water plunge.

Soon others followed — as did big splashes and lots of hootin’ and hollerin’.

Finally, only the captain and I remained on the boat. I stared at the distance between where I stood, rooted on the deck, and where the happy swimmers frolicked in the clean, clear water.

It was such a familiar feeling – not knowing how to get from frozen to frolic.

For many years I believed the voice in my head that warned in its powerful Yankee accent “You can’t get there from here”. (Read: “You cahn’t get theyah from heeah”) At this point in my journey, surrounded by the sounds of pleasure and the beauty of nature, that familiar warning made me chuckle.

“C’mon!” they yelled.

“Fat thighs be damned,” I thought. “I’m going in!”

I turned to the captain and said, “I really want to go in, but I don’t know how.” Only half-joking, he said, “I suggest you start by removing the blanket.”

As I peeled off the layers (blanket, jacket, shirt, shorts and a few crappy thoughts) that stood between me and pleasure, the captain secured a ladder to the back of the boat to aid me in my plunge, and as he held that rickety ladder I made my way from here to there — slipping into the fabulous liquid sensation of this northern Idaho lake on a hot summer day.

Ahhhh!

We all find detours and roadblocks on our path to pleasure. Trying to get there (where you want to be) from here (the roadblock that has you stuck) is a challenge. I’d love to hear how you’ve made your way to pleasure …

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