Updated: Mar 1, 2020

Today’s weather, a complete contrast to yesterday’s heavy, driving rain, is the most languid, warm midsummers day. Hazy blue skies that lay a fine blue filter over Castle Bryher and the western rocks. The warm air slows the heart and calms the head, the water at Green Bay is glassy, still and clear. As I wade into the shallows the sunbeams dance enticingly on the sand.

Shoals of tiny fish dart and swim in unison through the bright green and brownish yellow of sea lettuce and bladder wrack. As I swim, my shadow joins me and together we glide with graceful strokes, causing sparkling ripples to follow our wake.

The day is glorious and as near perfect as you could imagine. It makes me think and chuckle at what a friend said to me yesterday as we sat around the kitchen table, sheltering from the dampness outside. She commented that I was only writing about the lovely weather and not the rain and wind. So I thought today I would remember and reflect upon those harsh winter days of toe curling, breath catching swimming, and re-read one of my first swim diary entries.

So here’s a little story, of wild and cold winter days. When no sun was there to warm my skin and each dip a battle with the waves.

February 8th 2019.

Gale force winds and heavy rain were forecast and they have arrived. The buoys in the children’s treehouse are swinging violently, the roof tiles lift and clatter, the wind howls in the chimneys.

But the sea is exciting, fun, lively. The sand stings my arms and legs as it blasts me, blown with force in the wind. I quickly skip down to the water. The visibility is surprisingly good, not a ground swell then. The waves are created purely by the wind so once I am submerged I can quite clearly see the seaweeds whipping along in the tide.

I duck and dive through the waves that rise above me, grey with white, frothy tops. I can’t quite get a rhythm with my breathing and I am often met by a face full of salty swell. I am joyous, elated even. It’s been fun to be pushed and washed around. My senses are blasted by noise, taste and energetic beauty.

In all this liveliness my head is calmed and I return to the wet, sandy shoreline sated.

In all honesty it is delightful and idyllic to be swimming in warm, calm beautiful seas. However, I think I would quickly become bored and sluggish without those stormy, challenging winter swims. They touch the soul in a different way and are equally as stunning as these summer days, and when they return I will not be sad.

Enjoy the weather every day that it’s here, for the next season will bring new pleasures and new challenges.

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