And now I am the proud owner of a wetsuit. A delightful second skin. A selkie skin, which feels like I’ve added at least 5cm of blubber – an impervious layer which protects me from that blood-freezing pain which stopped me swimming. Now, no water’s too cold. Winter swimming in the Atlantic Ocean. Oh yes. The wetsuit is delicious. To put it on is to feel anticipation. To get in the cold water is to come alive again. It is freedom in an item of clothing: what better thing could there be?
We came from the water; there happiness lies. To hear water, to feel water and to be in water. Now, I feel like I could live in the water. Succumb to its cool embrace. I wrote recently about the feeling of sonder I wonder whether there’s an equivalent word which is the feeling of rootedness, of connectivity. When you enter the sea, the world is within reach. America is just over the way, south, Africa, or north to Iceland. The seas connect even the most isolated of islands. For we and our planet are one.
So some activities are just true joy, and such with climbing and with yoga, with swimming there is utter freedom from endless thoughts and worries. In the cold seas, all you are is purposeful porpoise. Or weightless whale. Or flying fish. I’m not even the best swimmer. I won’t win any races, but it’s not necessary, to always be expert to enjoy something. The enjoyment is in the participation; the breathless feeling of absolute pleasure and being in the perfect place at that perfect moment for that perfect unchangeable truth.
I’m off to Scapa Fest in May. A whole weekend of soul discoveries is something I am very much looking forward to. Activities range, but as the weekend festival is being marketed as yoga – movement – adventure – mindful living it’s basically this in a nutshell. As we become connected to the things that makes each of us individually, truly, ourselves, it is wonderful to find that the world is conspiring in this way as well: we’re all part of this larger change that’s happening in the planet right now. A move towards a more hopeful, sustainable, natural way of life. For me right now, jumping into that cold sea is step one. Scapa Fest is a hint of what other discoveries are to be made this year. And so it’s with a happy heart that I ask myself “I wonder what positive thing is going to happen to me today?”