My pre-birthday celebrations continued today. Kevin and I drove up to Inverness where we are staying for two nights at the beautiful Dancing Coyote Beach. It was the first day since January 1st that if I wasn’t doing this swimming challenge, I would have skipped. My plan was to swim in Tomales Bay when we arrived, but, the minute we pulled down the driveway, it was clear that wasn’t going to happen, the tide was too low.
I put on my bathing suit and walked across the mudflats anyway, just in case there was deep water somewhere out there.
So we went out to eat and when we returned a couple of hours later, it was better.
Even so, it was one of those ultra-shallow swims: I walked and walked until the mud was threatening to engulf my entire ankles and then just kind of flopped in.
My swim stroke was one I’ve (im)perfected on the super low tides in Albany; surface kicking and pulling, careful to not let anything get too far below the top of the water, including my stomach, which will scrape the bottom if I let it. Same story on my back. Sometimes, swimming this way, I can so effectively avoid the muck inches below me that I actually believe I’m swimming in deep water. That’s what happened today. After a while, I forgot I was swimming in inches of water and surrendered to the gorgeous scene around me: pink clouds, green hills, wetlands, the sounds of birds, the briny smells. Compared to the bay, it felt balmy (probably because I was swimming in a puddle) and I floated and breathed and felt profoundly peaceful.