Fall swimming is one of my favorite times to be in Walden. And although I arrive at the pond with some reservations about the water temperature and am forever watching the overnight minimum temperatures and daily maximums and amount of sun that might grace the skies ..grateful when a cloudy morning peals back her layers to reveal even pastel blue overhead .. once in the water and acclimated there is no better experience than seeing the orange and red changes in the world from water level.
Perhaps it is the mental component as well as physical, trying to decide which wetsuit, short or full, will be needed to stave off the chilling waters, that heightens the experience. Perhaps it is the concomitant need for monitoring the chill factor, fingers and feet mainly, and the gripping of neoprene around my ribs as I expand my lungs while enjoying the roll and sway and feeling of lithe strength it brings, a new strength and power which sends me across the pond flying like some fresh young thing. Perhaps it is the knowledge that the season is limited and soon will be over, and every swim is to be cherished. Every moment embraced.
But there is more that Fall swimming brings. The shorter window of warmth during the day brings swimming friends to Walden with a synchronicity so that having not seen each other all summer suddenly we are meeting at the wall during the warmest part of the day to swim each day.
A double blessing to find my friends again after the summer visitors transition to other pursuits.