The Pulse Of Walden Pond


(stand knee deep, feet swathed in silk under neoprene, already cold)

…my breath to be gone when my head is immersed. When I next look for air, reach down into that hollow tube…spasm.


As cold as my feet feel, I breath…regular. In. Out.

Now horizontal. Arms over. Legs scissor.


What swimming is.


The blue grey silver reflection of the sky playing on the surface of the water. The feeling I am inside a secret. Then realizing I am really only skimming on the edge of an unknown thought.

Because when I try to enter her she tosses me back into the dull opaque air.


Icy water slides inside silk over palm. Gloved hands.

Pointer finger frozen, points like ballet slipper toe. Rigor cold.

Icy fluid drifts, sits in nostrils, taking up air space.

Mouth blows frozen fizz around teeth that freeze.

The nerves in my teeth tell me something is different. They do not know how to name the change.


I am at that magic place in the pond now. Ice Cove. The wind that buffeted the surface water, chiding me earlier, is now still. I am released into strength. Stroke and glide. I am rhythm.

The water I am in and the water within me are in harmony, pulsing to the same beat. I fight that ALMOST IRRESISTIBLE urge to fly across the mouth of the cove.

I am cold inside. The gentle swagger of the water sways up and down inside my wetsuit spine.

I must start back across the pond.

It is half a mile of water spitting back at me, spitting me back

and even as I make it to the further shore, she still

tosses me back.

And clouds. Who knows when the sun will show itself again.



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