Saturday, April 14, 2012

Sailboats and Sand Buckets

As I sit here, I think back on how I got here. I remember frolicking in the mist of the ocean water, wearing only my blue-green swim trunks which had a sailboat embroidered on them.  As I worked my way further and further away from shore, I could hear someone shouting, "Hey, come back you're going out too deep."  I didn't listen.  Within a minute or two I noticed a man swimming towards me. He said to me, "Hey big guy, you went out too far. Why don't you play in the sand like the other kids?" With a pat on the back, he sent me on my way.

That man had a great power.  He controlled the beach. While sitting on my towel, thinking about why I couldn't go out as far as I wanted to, I found myself watching him.  He and his confederates kept a crowd of bathers safe from the dangers which lurk in the deeper water. They controlled this haven of vacationing bliss from a throne and ruled by the power invested unto them by that seat which was clearly marked Lifeguard.

I can remember asking myself, as well as some of the other kids, how these brave men had come to carry this great honor of protectors of the beach.  Did they rule by divine right? Were they servants to the King of the Sea, the Knights of Water Safety?  I thought that maybe they were the holy keepers of the personal floatation devices.

Upon returning each year to the beach, I grew in age and in strength.  I learned that I should seek out the Red Cross, if I was to gain the knowledge and power to rule for the beach as did those noble men who held the might title of lifeguard.  Once I found the Red Cross, I was trained in the skills of the beach, and tested for valor and integrity in my work.  After many months of hard labor and testing, a representative of the Red Cross bestowed on me the honor of Certified Water Safety Instructor and Surfguard.

Having obtained the proper titles and certificates, I was quickly assigned to a territory over which a fellow brother guard and I were to keep watch by day.  We were relived relugarly to up our stamina and morale. Our duties involved no more than protecting the citizens from danger and providing necessary aid to those who needed it.

As I take my place each day next to my brother-in-arms, I am all too aware of the honor and magnitude of my position in the recreational water safety power elite.

By the way, my swim trunks still have a sailboat on them.

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