Walden’s Creeping Cold

Every swimming day there is one more addition.

Saturday….

Stiff slat boards flap instead of feet so today….thin silk socks….they go on before I thread my legs through the hips and down into the tubes of my wetsuit….it is important to have them under the wetsuit….keeping snug not bulging with Walden water

Monday….

One pair of silk socks …no longer enough…white soles wrinkled skin stiff with cold still flapping

An extra cap….silicon on top of the green lycra….no neoprene with its annoying strap to strangle my breath…yet

Battered and beaten like a punching bag by the wind whipped waves

Grey on grey, until half across at last a sprig of white sunlight splinters green through tinted goggle lens

Feeling like I’ve never been in this pond before….lost to the feeling of familiarity…swamped in the wind-beaten swirl

Tuesday….

An extra pair of socks….wool on silk, resisting neoprene still….feeling in my feet not entirely screaming cold as they did on Monday

Gloves…the same slim silk, pulled up under my wetsuit sleeves…giving some sensation of warmth to my hands…(and the sun at last, a blue sky day)….my palms starting to ache almost home… thirty minutes deep

Goggles…fogged in an instant….my face to warm for water…the increasing gradient between…no matter how many times I clean them….

The sun…a massive silver-gold button in the sky laughing…shimmers shivers across the unruffled pond skin….today the first in many without wind

Thursday…

Grey…goggle fog deepens the gloom….yet it is not dismal

I swim in my own gravity…floating in an altered state of non-seeing…alone in the pond…this is the mystery that beings me back again and again

Friday…

All I feel is the incessant sting of a thousand pin pricks on my forehead…despite the warmer day, each molecule of water jabs like a needle

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