October 1, 2019

The sounds of the summer go silent

Today, on a day where the feels-like temperature surpassed 100°, the pool company came by to close our backyard swimming pool.

You can’t blame them. After all, I had scheduled the pool closing for the first week of October, expecting the autumn temperatures to have rolled in by this time, making swimming in an outdoor pool quite uncomfortable. The fact that the sun was bright in the sky and the temperatures skyrocketing to highs we hadn’t seen in weeks wasn’t something they, or I, could have predicted.

The pool is closed now, a solid blue cover stretching across where the water used to be, the pineapple and unicorn floaties put away in the shed for the season. The afternoons spent poolside, basking in the sun and drinking cocktails will soon be replaced by fireside evenings, cups of tea in hand, books stacked up beside me to be read.

Not today. Today, I feel like going for a swim.

Feet by the side of the pool

I never wanted a house with a pool. When we were house hunting, I wanted a small heritage home close to the downtown core, not a house with a front lawn and a garage and a backyard unground pool. I knew a pool would be a lot of work, and quite an added cost to the household expenses.

And yet, I can’t imagine life without it, now. I hadn’t realized just how much joy the pool would bring—not just for me, but for our friends and family and everyone who gets to enjoy it from May to October every year. Our backyard is a gathering place filled with laughter, splashes, and joyful banter. It is a respite from the heat on a hot and humid day, and a respite from the overwhelm of life when I float along at night and count the stars. Some days, the pool is my office; others, it is my escape from the office.

Today, I stare longingly out the window at the tarp where the water once was, just this morning. In a few weeks, I will be revelling in the joy I get from fireside conversations and quiet nights by the flame, but for now, I mourn the exuberance and brightness of the backyard.

The sounds of summer are, for me these days, poolside sounds; today, those sounds go silent as I usher in the autumn. Let the quiet begin.

Pool floats sitting in the water