Swimming Across Generations

Hey! I shouted. I want a picture of the two of you!

My daughter was floating in a rubber ring in the Merced River in Yosemite, where my family has vacationed for 48 years. Her boyfriend waded in to get in the frame.

My daughter in an inflatable ring in the Merced river with her boyfriend swimming next to her
Blondie and her boyfriend, 2021.

My wife was also in the water, and I realized we had a photo of the two of us from about 1995, floating on the same inflatable ring, in the same river, in the same blissful state together as our child and her beau.

Beloved and I on an inflatable ring on the Merced river circa 1995.
Beloved and I. Same river, same inflatable ring, family vacation 1995. Probably taken by my dad.

Standing on the shore, I put my arm around my 83 year old mother; we were back in Yosemite for the first time since she was widowed in 2015. Bittersweet memories of the past five decades made this a joyful yet occasionally tearful holiday, and I realized she and my dad also swam in the same river, when they were young and crazy about each other.

Checked the photo albums when I got home. Daddy was always the photographer, so the best I found was this.

My family in 1972, on a bridge over the Merced river.
Our family in 1972; I’m second from left. The Merced is behind us.

And it occurred to me one day in the not too terribly distant future, I may stand in her shoes, in the same spot, wistfully watching the river moseying past as our next generation falls in love.

I hope I am here to see it. And I hope, god, I so hope she is too.

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