BETTER START SWIMMING….OR SINK. This morning I saw a commercial about a teacher experiencing some identity discomforts and the song Times are a’ changing played.

The Times They Are A-Changin’ (Witmark Demo – 1963)
Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.
Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.
Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’.
It’ll soon
(These lyrics are for reference only and not for any commercial use)
                                                                                                                                                                    Times are changing and I thought of a story my Mother told me about how they used gourds as swimming aids similarly to floaties used today.
Here is an excerpt from an article identifying the use of the bottle gourd as a swimming aid dating back in Roman history:

The bottle gourd’s most obvious use is for carrying water, but they were also used as pontoons for rafts in ancient Egypt, as children’s swimming aids by the Romans, as birdhouses by native north Americans, as gunpowder dispensers in revolutionary France, by pipe smokers in Victorian England and more recently as motorcycle helmets in Nigeria.  Gourd is also possibly mankind’s oldest musical instrument resonator.

Gunpowder gourd from revolutionary France
Gunpowder gourd from revolutionary France

It is the only known plant whose use by humans spanned prehistoric cultures across the entire globe, but one thing that has puzzled scientists was how – given its African origins – it came to be so widely used in the Americas thousands of years before the arrival of Columbus.





Now, back to Mom’s story and I think you will see the lesson behind the swimming gourds. The practice was to find two gourds and tie a rope between them with enough length to place one gourd under each arm pit so they would float out from each side. Mom had her gourds and used them faithfully when she would jump in the pond and had no fear about swimming. She knew the gourds would hold her up and off she went. She would swim and then get out and jump in over and over having so much fun. She did it so long that she had confidence in the gourds’ ability to hold her up. As she was swimming across the pond and had swam a long distance, she didn’t see her gourds and turning around looking toward the dam, there were the gourds at the edge of the water. Mom realized she had lost them when she jumped in. She had swam on her own.

The lesson behind this was it was the belief that she didn’t have to fear.

We live in a changing world and every day, we find the familiar changed and we have to adapt to new ways and even learn to swim without the gourds. Sometimes, we just have to jump in, learn new things and take risks to achieve new skills.

Live Life; Love Life; and Live Life to the fullest by discovering how times are a’ changin and how we have to change with them.

(C) Copyright 2012-2019 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location if known for credit reference.

Author: sippingcupsofinspiration

A blogger since 2012, a published author of three Five Star romance novels, A MISTRESS, A WIFE and TELL ME LIES; LOVE ME STILL and RIDDLE ME THIS, LOVE OR BLISS. Still a small town girl with a lot of experience of people watching. Ten years of blogging experience.


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