Far Enough

6:45am

Door latch sticks a little, sand grits along tiled floor and a sigh of cool morning air meets the warmth of the kitchen. Now outside, I hear the sea washing the beach at Quay, bird chirp and duck chatter, nothing else.

Movement in the house, a door opens, “where’s my school jumper?” Bangs shut again.

I look toward the fire-like glow that burns its way from the blackness of the East.

Every surface; leaves, rocks, windows, the sea, my face, glows in its amber reaches.

Writing at first light is magical

9:30am

A perfect morning for a winter swim challenge, the rocks of Little Merrick patiently sit in still water.

There’s not a breath of wind, the silky water, clear as glass, slowly numbs the legs as I walk deeper.

Castle Bryher and Merrick dominate my view

It’s best to just take a breath and dive into the sea, not let it steal the air from your lungs, and start swimming.

Crystal clear sea and I’m in!

Bands of icy cold tighten around my head, arms and legs, I keep swimming. The water darkens but it’s so clear I can still see the waving fronds of thong weed and limpet studded rocks below me.

I reach the rocks, the slight swell raises me up onto the rock, the rough barnacles rasping on my numb skin.

The silver sun to my right dazzles my sight as it lights the sea. To the left on the larger Merrick rocks, a group of about fifty oyster catchers sun themselves, splashes of white on the grey granite.

Back into the cold sea with a not so elegant splosh. My hands and feet are pinched in icy pain and I swim strongly towards the shore. Powerful, water-pulling strokes and quick breaths in an attempt to warm the body.

With the slightest ray of warm sun thawing my skin, I look back at the rock I’ve just been sitting on. It is a world away and I feel far enough for a winter swim, my feet are numb, fingers stiff and clumsy but heart and mind warmed by a wonderfully wild swim.

Following my last blog, reporting on Dina and her piglets, I’ve had a request for a picture of them. I only have one of the piglets but they are super cute so enjoy.

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