COVID sucks and it was another solo swim for me this morning (those two statements are related). After more than a week of this, it’s become routine. I stir awake while it’s still dark, wonder what time it is, and when I turn over and look at the clock it’s always 5:20 or 5:13 or, if I’m really lucky, 5:38. I make my coffee, write in my journal, and then put on my bathing suit, fill up my hot water and drive through the empty streets down to the empty park lot of the Albany Bulb.
Today, actually, the parking lot wasn’t empty. Two cars were pulled into the first two spots and when I passed by the concrete circle, I saw swim bags, towels, and two pairs of shoes nestled behind the wall. It was heartening to know that there were a couple of other swimmers out in the bay. I was pretty sure I knew which ones they were—two women who come early and swim for a long time. I suspected they were already miles out and I didn’t expect to see them (I didn’t), but I liked knowing they were there.
The tide was even lower today than yesterday and after wading out a while, the bottom turned from semi-firm sand to ankle-deep mush and so, though the depth was still only mid-shin, I flopped in. It’s a strange feeling to swim through shallow water; the eel grass gets tangled in my fingers, and the sand brushes against my knees and thighs as I kick, sometimes even grazing my belly. But the amazing fact is, you can swim even in the shallowest water. After a while, I forget about the depth and just swam.
The moon kept me company; still nearly full and shining its light along the water as if just for me.
And the birds; lots of bird friends came out to say hello this morning; swooping in and cawing encouragement. The low tide and early hour brought out more than usual. I swam and floated and soaked up what will be (if the last nine days are anything to go by) the very best part of my day.