The weather here has been unseasonably warm and lovely and I took the opportunity late yesterday afternoon to try and shorten the coming seasons by extending the last. I got down to the beach and yes, into the water! Into the ocean, I should specify. I’m determined to get in on Thanksgiving day (this weekend where I live) and it’s looking pretty good based on yesterday.
The long shadows and yellow light make everything so much more graphic. I really appreciate this type of beach litter. The barnacles it came from think it sucks.
Don’t be fooled by the gentle bubbly water. There should be chunks of ice floating in it. The only way to get in — and I actually got in twice so I am the expert at this — was to get hot lying on my towel in the sun, suddenly jump to my feet without thinking and sprint, not pausing for even a second as the first toe hit the water. To let that first toe have enough time to think about it would have doomed the whole attempt. As it and the rest of me were running in things were still peachy. I may have squealed a little, but my brain was thinking, “Wow, this is really quite nice. It doesn’t feel all that different than in summer.” As I plunged forward and got all of me including my head underwater the voice changed a little bit, to Yosemite Sam’s voice in fact: “Retreeeeeat! Retreeeeeat! Retreeeeeat!”
Oh wow! Holy smokes! Yikes! I very much wanted to stay in a minute or two just to see if I’d get used to it but the body took over and got me out of there so fast I left a wake. The brain was saying,”Oh come on, give it a second, we’re not even over our head” and the rest of the body, the moving parts, replied “Shut up! Shut up, shut up! You’re coming with us.”
This guy came closer than he ever would in summer just to check it all out and perhaps chortle? It looks like a bird that would chortle, doesn’t it? A Great Blue Heron. Fabulous prehistoric looking bird. It was huge! What do you think it must be like to have a thing that massive sticking out the front of your face? And what do you think: if you had the opportunity to reach down with your nose as it were and scratch your ribs and belly and armpits, or wingpits, as this guy could easily do, would you? He seemed to enjoy it quite a lot.
After the second swim I shivered on my towel a while but eventually warmed up a little. Later though, at home and after a hot shower, I still had an icicle in my middles. And you know what? I’m a wimp!!! A jam tart. A sissy. A friend recently offered me inspiration by telling me of a local elderly lady who every day of the year leaves her house in just her bathing suit and bare feet, walks past five or so houses to get to her beach and into the water, stays in long enough to swim out a ways and back, and then walks back home again. Hard core and I might even say epic! My friend swears that on a snowy day you see her bare footprints in the snow.
I’m a wimp.
But still, I’d like that water at her beach checked out. It’s obviously a lot warmer than at mine.
(I’ve got such tiny mussels.)