It’d been a cold swim. A hard swim. But now, a done swim. Whew! Here at the Encinitas YMCA they keep the pool a frigid ‘competitive’ temp. I am NOT competitive! I need warmth. And so, I plop down in the sauna, the heat a welcome embrace after my non-competitive swim.

I close my eyes. The talk of the two women with me in the sauna floats in the heat. Something about India. Something about holidays. Something about celebrations.
It’s that post-Christmas lament. Is that what I mean? Do they want more holidays here?
I open my eyes. They both smile over at me in the close quarters. Then continue on with their discussion. “In India, every week is a holiday.”
“Yes, I know what you mean.”
“Not like here where we have this big holiday and then bam. No holidays till when?”
“Valentine’s day?”
“Is that a holiday?”
They both crack up. I grin. Decide to join in. “The same was true in China,” I venture. “There was always a celebration. Parades. Balloons. Fireworks.”
“Yes, India too.”
I nod. Is one of the women Indian? I can’t tell in the dark. And frankly it doesn’t matter. I don’t know either of them. I’ll never see them again. There’s something freeing about this. I can say what I want without worrying about future interactions. Not like I really worry about this anyway in the Bay Area.

“Lots of fanfare and bright lights,” I continue.

One of the women nods, suddenly serious, “We need light. Especially now…..”
Her voice trails off and we all sit silent for a moment. I don’t answer. Know that she’s referring to the darkness that has overtaken our country since the King of Bigotry and Hatred has been elected. And now his reign is only a few weeks away.
We do need light!
But how?
I am thankful for these two women, voicing this wish. And here in San Diego, I am pleasantly surprised. I had the impression that there was a large percentage of the populace here that may have voted for the King of Hatred. Trumpland. It is here in San Diego?

Evidently, it’s everywhere. He did ‘win’ the election.

But for a moment, I can revel in a small sanctuary of this Encinitas YMCA sauna. No Trumpland here.
There’s light in the darkness here.

And for this I am so very grateful.


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