I’ve been waiting 26 days to write this blog post! Today our friend Sheila returned from New York and we had a long-awaited reunion of our original swimming pod, the Salty, Saucy, Swim Sisters.
I started open water swimming last January, spurred by a pandemic year of exploring the bay by kayak and paddleboard, and solidified with a New Year’s Resolution to get in (not just on) the bay twice a month. My friends Arwen and Angie joined in. Though Angie stepped it up by resolving to swim twice a week, to which I replied, “Achievable goals, Angie!” Who would have guessed a year later I’d be endeavoring to swim every day? Soon, Angie’s friend, Sheila, joined us and, before long, the four of us were planning our days around when we could next get into the bay. It was a year of tumultuous change for all four of us in different ways and swimming together was variously celebration, stress relief, play, a time to grieve, giddy fun, and, always: nature therapy.
The friendship that grew among the four of us during the last year of swimming has been something special. Even my friendship with Arwen (with whom I’ve been best friends since junior high) has deepened through our watery adventures. Is it the fact of sharing a new passion? Or maybe it’s because swimming in the bay feels both hard and exhilarating and we are riding those waves of emotion together; each swim is a significant shared experience. I don’t know the why of it, but I do know that seeing Sheila’s red woolly cap this morning was a shot of pure joy.