Saturday 3 September 2011

Swimming in the Rain

The light over our front-door waterworld has just changed. The sky is a uniform grey/white but there's just enough brightness getting through to lend the grass and abundant foliage a garish green hue.

This tide has just turned from its impressive height and I'm just back from swimming in it; core temperature still relaxingly low and ready for some strong black coffee. Crows dot the lichen-covered rocks protruding from the sea. Sluggish waves radiate out from the rocks, creating odd interference patterns with their neighbours.

The mountains of the mainland are completely obscured by the wall of grey/white smir. This created the odd impression, as I swam in the rain, of an ocean world fading into infinity. I'm getting stronger and the cold-shock hurts a little less but I don't think it will ever feel comfortable.

I wonder about our human disconnection from cold water. Up until relatively modern times people would have come in daily contact with cold water: bathing; washing clothes; walking miles in the rain to find food and shelter. But it's different for us today: we can remain warm and dry pretty much all the time. We don't have to develop a tolerance for cold conditions if we don't want to.

A sea-skimming heron has just scattered some of the crows from their perches. They settle back down and continue their silent vigil.

Time for that coffee now. Thomsons (a fine Scottish firm) Rocco with a dusting of cinnamon. Back to the land of warmth and comfort I go.

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