24th May swim

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Almost twenty-four hours later and the thought remains of sky, cloud, sun and water. Sometimes the pond is gentle, green water and quiet. Last night it shouted “ELEMENTAL!” in a way that I can’t quite imagine ever being able to forget. To think, the drive over was in a storm so thick I struggled to see, and I was expecting water, on water, in water.

As I arrived the last drips fell, and I walked along the jetty in some haste, but the sun soon blew out from behind a dark grey cloud and poured through the trees, defying me, the lone swimmer late on Saturday to look at anything else. As I rounded the final turn it was shining straight at me, setting the water alight with bright yellow beams.

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I duck-dived down, swam along underneath for as long as I dared, then surfaced, blinded and reborn. How people used to worship the sun! Scrambling out, I could not resist more, traversing the open water in unusual directions, routine out of the window. Eventually I got out, cold and chilled further by the evening air. I stayed cold all night but somehow have held on the elation, partly because I am now in Yorkshire and close enough to the Lakes to reach out and touch them, smell the air, dream of the walls, fields and streams. And the thought that in life there are endless streams to find and bathe in and mountains to march up thrills like that stream of golden light, last night.

25 May 2014, en route to the Lake District

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