Flashes of Life

August 8, 2007

Nothing special, just some thoughts that I want to get out of my head and onto paper.

The solid line in the lower part of the image are the lights of a landing jet at the ABQ sunport. The images are not the best since I was shooting with my telephoto of storms in the distance, and it exaggerates the artifacts that show up in long exposures using a digital camera.

My guess is that the lightning is at least 25 miles away, and at least 2 miles in length.

Life can change in an instant, and I had a couple of up close and personal looks at that fact over the past several weeks.

One of the two that keeps rattling around in my head happened last Friday. Mrs headed off for the local pool and asked if I was going to go swim. I was in the middle of a major garage project and said I'd be along, but not sure when. We often take separate cars since I often stay in the pool for a long time.

I ended up arriving just as she was walking out and we stopped to talk for a minute, right at the corner of the pool where there was a set of stairs going down into the water. She was on the one side, I was on the other.

As we talked for a minute, a two and a half year old walked out of the ladies bathroom and right over to the pool. As parents, our immediate thought was, WHERE IS THE PARENT?.

The little one, with full boldness, grabbed onto the hand rail and walked into the water. We stopped talking to watch as the toddler paddled off into the deep water. As she went into the water she did the dog paddle for a minute and then looked up at me in complete surprise, probably because she could not touch the bottom.

I remember her startled look as she started to sink into the 4 feet of water.

Mrs said JUMP, but I was already in motion. I went in and swooped her out of the water in less than another second or two. From the time she went into the water till I jumped in and had her on the pool deck was perhaps less than 30 seconds.

If we had not been standing there talking, she probably would have drowned. I'm still shocked at how little time it took for her to sink, and the only thing that stood between her and drowning was one gasp for air, which she never had time to take.

The mom did show up, after the toddler ran down to the other end of the pool. She said that she thought the dad was right outside, kind of dumb when it turns out he was in the pool and no where near the changing room.

The pool director got called in by a lifeguard who saw some of it happen and she did give a "talking to" to the parents. The next day the child was right back there, bold as ever.

Keep your eyes open to life that is around you, and especially on toddlers near the water.