I was born under the sign of the fishes in the “Sunshine City” of St. Petersburg, Florida. I learned to swim about the same time I learned to walk. My mother took me across busy 49th Street to the pool of Mrs. Neal where all the neighborhood children went to master the basic skills of swimming. The Neal family had an up close and personal connection to water. Mr. Neal was a plumbing contractor who repaired the problems adults encountered with water. Mrs. Neal was a swimming instructor who averted the problems children might encounter with water. There was lots and lots of water and we were surrounded by all types - salt water, creek water, lake water, river water.
A few years later I eagerly anticipated our travels to the waters of Weeki Wachee Springs where I fell in love with the live mermaids. The way they appeared to swim so effortlessly suspended like magic inside a wonderful crystalline water globe captured my Pisces heart. The sun shining rays of light that reached down from the surface to the watery depths, graceful tails sparkling, exposed skin shining luminescent. I watched in rapture. Back at home, the favorite color of my mother decorated our living space in gentle shades of turquoise and aquamarine. I imagined myself happily immersed underwater in these colors of liquid blues and greens. In the quiet darkness of the night, I secretly dreamt I too was a dazzling mermaid.