The Beauty of Unique

Updated: Mar 1, 2020

The Beauty of wild swimming is that you do it with nature and every swim is unique. Each day, even each hour, there are differences to be aware of; the weather, the tide, the wildlife, the light, the sounds, the feel of the air. Always changing, always unique.

The school run here is less of a run or manic drive, more of a stroll. Each walk is different. At high tide the school boat leaves from quay, at low tide it leaves from Bar whisking the children over to Tresco.

When the children leave from quay we walk through Veronica Farm past rows of aromatic herbs, succulents and flowers such as narcissi and whistling jacks. It is often busier here with the launch unloading or the post boat, doctors boat or tripper boats coming and going.

At the far end of Green Bay is Bar…or Anneka’s quay. It is inevitably cold and windy here as the weather blows in from the North, up the channel. It is strikingly beautiful though with banks of sand, rocks and seaweed exposed at low tide to either bask in sunshine or be blasted by the gales.

Some days we trudge our way down to the boat in wellies and coats, battling the elements. Other days it’s a languid stroll in sandals and flip flops, sand between our toes and eyes squinting in the sun. In spring we pick narcissi and watch oyster catchers jogging along the shoreline. In summer we pop into the little shop for an ice cream treat or stay on the beach, paddling and rock pooling. Autumn brings an air of peace and harvest. We pick blackberries to store in the freezer over winter. Winter comes and we watch the waves and seaweed crashing over the quays, some days the weather is too wild to boat so we stay at home hunkered down.

The school run is not a chore, it is a pleasure, a chance to walk with the children, talk and enjoy the island. Today however I have relented and they are going in our farm buggy as the weather is awful. I am keen to walk, I will be getting wet anyway and I love the feel of the rain on my skin.

The wind has been rattling the tiles on the farmhouse roof all night and we have a leak in the gutter causing a mini waterfall to gush noisily. The morning is grey. Grey sky, grey sea….even the green hedges look a little grey. The rain is driving across the island from West to East in a horizontal blur. The horses are tucked up behind the hedge, tails to the rain. No sign of any other animals from the kitchen window, I suspect they stay snuggled up in their houses.

The track through Veronica has puddles of mud that bounce with tiny circling ripples of raindrops. In the distance the fog horn sounds it’s monotone hum. The sea to my right along Green bay is calm, protected from the wind. Small waves of glassy grey green roll onto the pale sand. At quay rivulets of muddy water wash down across the beach and merge into the green sea.

My feet sink deep into the wet, cold sand. The surface of the water is restless, flurried by the breeze and the rain. I don’t see one creature as I swim, everything is taking shelter somewhere warm and dry. The water is skin tinglingly chilled and the only feature visiable through the green haze are the pearl-like bubbles flowing out from my limbs. Maybe not the nicest day but in its own way beautiful and unique.

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