Psyche of a Cold Water Swimmer

In the pond
I feel safe. The sun shines through loops of brilliant blue, even more brilliant white.
Glinting stars.
I am submerged in my own internal world. In green strobed water.

I have not been here for days, feeling cold, fearing cold. Boston has been blanketed in grey, slant sheets of water pouring from the sky. But today’s mid sixties, Saturday, has bought the crowds. Mostly to the beach and woods, but there are others wet suited, (and even some bare torso arms and legs.)

In the car park, inching into neoprene, we joke. “Warm as a bathtub.” Another returning to earth after water comments the bridge of her nose got “ice cream freeze.” My brain takes hours in the real cold, to remember what it thought about before, while warm. A woman on the beach comments “everyone getting out is saying it’s freezing.”

Today is the first day I can remember coming here with a feeling of excitement. How much colder might it be than last week? Usually my blood clutches tight onto narrowed veins at the thought.

I know this is not going to last forever, I have come to terms with that. But still I bargain with the weather app on my phone. Today. Tomorrow? Wednesday. Next weekend? Just a few more warm days to get us into November.
Then I will be happy to give it up, this need I have to wade in, look into the blue with its winking white eye, and give thanks.

It is the rocking that lulls me into loving this. The turning right and left, around the axis of my spine. The balance. The rhythm. So even as the icy cold inches down my back, peeling away neoprene from skin, I ignore it. Make assessments of my hands, gloved in vaseline, instead. So even as my toes tingle, creating a layer of warmth like halo around my feet, I ignore them.

The thing that captures me, brings me back to water, however cold, is the closing of the mind. Away from all the fretful struggles of life, toward the soothing rhythm of water.
Lulled, as I am, into wanting more.


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