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Times of the Islands Magazine


Feb 29, 2024 04:49PM ● By Daniela Jaeger
I like to be near water and have often questioned why. Is it my zodiac sign (Cancer, a water sign represented by the crab)? Maybe it is because I grew up with my grandparents, who lived by a wonderful lake.
Back then, I also learned to have respect for the water. I remember one specific day when my grandmother had just finished sewing a pair of pants for me. At first I was not sure if I should wear them, because I thought only boys wore pants. Until that time, I usually wore a dress or a skirt, especially around my grandparents. They dressed nicely all the time, and my grandmother was always in a dress.
I am not sure how my grandmother did it, but the pants she made me fit perfectly. I was so excited that I ran out of my grandparents’ house and into their yard, which extended into the lake, with my heart full of joy. This part of the yard was a peninsula surrounded on three sides by the water. At the tip, my grandparents had built a deck with a bench where I enjoyed sitting to watch the beautiful lake’s soft flowing water with its swans, ducks, all kinds of birds, and, of course, the fish. It was like being in a theater built on the water’s edge.
Just as I sat down to enjoy the spectacle, my grandmother appeared and asked me to take the pants off because she needed to finish the hems. I pulled one leg out while the pants slid down my other leg. Instead of stepping completely out and handing them to my grandmother, though, I let them hang on my right foot and said, “Here! Catch it, Grandma!” I then kicked the pants from my foot. Rather than falling into my grandmother’s hands, the pants went in a different direction, flying into the lake.
The water was very deep in the spot where the pants splashed down, and the wind had just started to pick up. In those days, I was not a good swimmer yet, so my grandmother would not allow me to go after the sinking trousers. All we could do was stand there watching how the water, suddenly possessed with great power, swallowed my new pants as they sank deeper and disappeared.
You can imagine how I felt. My beautiful lake had just stolen the pants that my grandma had spent hours creating. And all she said was, “I’m glad you did not fall into the water.” I was glad, too; my antic could have led to something much worse. That day I learned how important it is to respect the water as well as enjoy it. I also learned something about unconditional love, though it took years for me to understand it completely. My grandmother never became angry about my mishap; she was concerned only for my safety. Her love went far deeper than my new pants or childish games. She taught me what love looks like.
Peninsulas and water remain a big part of my life. I live in the state of Florida, which is a peninsula surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Straits of Florida. Our home on Sanibel is also surrounded on three sides by water—I call it an “island within an island.”
I often ponder the deeper meanings of things. While I do prefer to live near the water, I also think peninsulas represent something more in my life. Perhaps it is the number three—like three sides surrounded by water. Three is the number that signifies completeness. For me, it reflects my past, present, and future. It also symbolizes divine fullness and working on perfection.
When you look at your own life, can you also find ways that the number three expresses itself in situations, relationships, or other special ways?
When I am not surrounded by water, I like to walk in nature. I especially enjoy forest bathing. Have you heard of it? Be sure to read this issue’s “Getting the Most out of Nature” on page 54.
Also, learn to slow down and “Take a Break for Awe,” on page 10.
Now that you are fully inspired by “all things water,” when you are done reading, maybe you would like to take the short quiz.
It is an intriguing way of discovering something about your own attraction to water. Enjoy and stay safe, my friends!

Daniela J. Jaeger
Group Publisher, TOTI Media