After a busy weekend at the Bay Area Book Festival, I was ready to sleep in this morning. I purposefully made no swimming plans and thought I’d just wake up whenever I woke up and swim whenever it worked out to swim.
As anyone who knows me will not be the slightest bit surprised to find out, I managed to make it all the way until 5:15 am. Sleeping in is a skill that eludes me; it always has to a certain extent, but it’s so much worse these days.
It’s not the worst thing in the world. Arriving at the Albany Bulb at 6:15, there wasn’t another soul on the beach. The bay churned with energy and glowed with the morning light.
The water was COLD. According to my thermometer, it was 60 degrees F (one degree warmer than the air), which is a temperature that me-from-a-month-ago would have called balmy, nearly tropical! It’s amazing how quickly the body adjusts to a new normal; the mid-60s of the last few weeks have made a softy out of me.
Soon enough I felt great; invigorated and fully awake as I glided through the waves. My weeks of early morning COVID swimming accustomed me to solo ventures, but I still stayed close-ish to the shore and did laps back and forth along the beach. It just seems like the responsible thing to do, even though the big tree was calling me.
As I got close to the shore I saw what I’m pretty sure was a coyote standing alone on the path. It looked at me and then disappeared up the hill.
I kept swimming.
As the days grow longer, I miss out on the brilliant colors of dawn, but I was still out early enough to watch the sun break from behind the hills. I stopped swimming, closed my eyes, and felt the new day on my face.