I'm still nursing my stress fracture, but when the heat and humidity got to be too much, I asked Anna to drive me down to our neighborhood beach (I usually walk). I still had to cross a grassy stretch and descend the 44 steps to the beach.
But it was SOOO worth it. The tide was high in the evening that day, so we went down after an early dinner.
The water temperature was perfect. Warm enough to be inviting, with enough cool spots to really bring your body temperature down.
I'm not an ambitious swimmer; I don't do laps or distance or anything like that. I simply love to swim out far enough to feel I've "cleared the land"--to where when I roll over and loll on my back and paddle around "old lady-style" I feel like a small, human-shaped boat, cast off from shore.
I love the sensation of floating, held up by the water and staring at the sky. Just me, water, and sky--and of course, air, clouds, breezes, bugs, and other people around me. And back on shore, the rim of trees, sand, rocks.
We stayed until we felt sufficiently cooled off--as if the coolness had penetrated more than just skin deep. A true, refreshing cooling down. Nothing quite like it.
Perhaps because I've had so few swims this summer, it seemed all the more perfect and blissful.
Image: "September Sky toward Portland," oil on canvas, 2008. SOLD