There are times in life when we need to be rescued. Though I like to think I am little Miss Independent, there came a breaking point in which I finally recognized my own weakness. Since then I have had to be rescued many, many times. Have you ever come to that moment of panic when you don’t know what you’re going to do in a situation? Or have you realized that the path you’re on is the uglier path, not the path you thought it was?
Strangely enough, I’m reminded of a frog that my friend had to rescue from certain death a few years ago…and stay with me; this is a quirky story, but it has a point.
Kristen, my lifeguard buddy, and I were opening the pool that morning. The only part of opening I dislike is cleaning out all the skimmers along the outer rim of the pool. It’s disgusting. You have to dip your entire arm (up to the elbow) into the skimmer water, which usually feels like a sponge because it’s filled with bloated pine needles that absorbed too much water.
This morning I was filling out paperwork at the top of the hill by the lifeguard shack…I mean bungalow. (Bill, our manager, built it himself and would be highly offended if we referred to it as a “shack” in his presence.) Anyway. I was standing there by the sha—bungalow, when Kristen came running up the hill.
“Tiffany, there’s a frog in the pool, and it’s going to die if I don’t get it out!” she panted.
Oh yeah, that’s the other thing I hate about opening. The chlorine in the pool kills frogs. Suffocates them somehow. So if they hop their merry way into the pool for a lovely little swim, they end up drowned, splatted, dead. I’m not a big animal activist myself – I mean, honestly, my idea of a pet is a rock – but in all fairness we really should post a sign in frog language that reads, “Danger Ahead! You swim, you die.”
“Did you get the skimmer?” I asked.
This skimmer looks like an enlarged butterfly net, attached to the end of a teetering, pole-vaulter-ish pole. We keep the skimmer for situations just like this one – to rescue poor frogs, rats, and mice which find their way into our pool…or, should I say, to rescue poor children from those frogs, rats, and mice.
“I did, I tried the skimmer, but the frog won’t let me rescue it!” It sounded like Kristen might cry.
“What do you mean?” Not gonna lie, I didn’t care a bit whether it died or lived. Some would say I have a cold heart. I just think frogs are gross!
“Every time I try to grab it with the skimmer, it swims away! I can’t get it!”
Frogs are so dumb. If they knew what was good for them, they’d let us fish them out and dump them over the back fence into the woods. There’s a creek back there full of fresh water where they can have a long, happy life, eating flies, having tadpoles, and doing whatever frogs do. So much for lifeguards, we should be frog-guards.
I can’t remember if we ever ended up rescuing that frog. I feel like some brave soul had to dive into the pool and grab the frog with their bare hands. One thing I know for sure: That brave soul sure wasn’t me. I stayed safely hidden away in the shack. I mean, bungalow.
But I never forgot that day, because the frog reminded me a lot of myself…
My quest for beauty was insatiable poison, just like chlorine was for frogs. I was like that frog. I didn’t know I was going to die in the poisoned water of my quest for beauty. I didn’t know that the quest would end up destroying me. And even though I could see things weren’t going too well, and I could feel that I was beginning to suffocate, I was scared of being rescued from the prison I knew like the back of my hand…