When I was a child, I nearly drowned and was revived. I was in a canoe with my maternal grandparents. Sitting in the middle of the boat, I looked for turtles and counted down the minutes of a boring camping trip. My uncle was in a different canoe and they argued about which divide to take in the river. They decided to split up. This is not advised when traveling by canoe without a communication device.
I don’t know if my grandfather’s path was the one he intended or not. I do know that, at one point, we hit violent rapids that knocked my grandmother’s glasses right off of her face. Later, we came to a whirlpool that vortexed down to the river bed. Despite their attempts to back paddle us to the shoreline, the rapids threw us forward and capsized the boat. I was wearing a life preserver that pushed me up while the boat held me down. In the blackness of the water, I fruitlessly tried to escape. I saw the sun reflecting through the water and realized I was being pulled out and then to shore. Verifying that I was conscious, we got out of the river. On the ride back to the campsite, a cousin asked me if I’d had a near-death experience. You know where you see God and they tell you the meaning of life. I did not.
When I returned to the campsite, I changed into dry clothes and wanted to go to sleep. Unbeknownst to me, the worst thing you can do after breathing in water is lay down or go to sleep. Doing so can cause a second dry drowning, which you can’t recover from. This is most common in children. Instead of the solitude and nap I craved, my mom insisted that I immediately go canoeing again so that I wouldn’t develop a lifelong fear of boating. This still strikes me as stupefyingly bad logic, as there is no law that forces people to spend their free time boating.
As an adult, camping has always struck me as playing homeless. I’ve never seen the appeal. I liked my home and I worked really hard to get it. It is full of things and people I like. As for boating, I’m not afraid of it nor do I have any interest in ever doing it again. Hypnotizing dullness can be found anywhere if one applies oneself.
Perhaps an interest in boating is something the new Rachelle would enjoy. I used to hate Panda Express. I tried it again after Constance passed. I still hate it. Boating is probably same, same.
Constance never went boating but I presume, like everything, she’d like it less than swimming in the water.