If there is one thing I hate about spring, it’s the waiting. Waiting for your first truly warm day. Waiting to wake up to open windows and not a pile of snow. Waiting to swim.
Swimming is the most sacred act of summer. All other warm-weather rituals pale in significance when compared to the first hesitant steps into lakes still cold from mountain run-off, ponds yet to become fragrant and discolored as leaves and twigs and small, nimble fish live and die and stew in their shallow edges. I can remember my first swim of almost every summer. Feet bare in the sand (bare feet—another pure joy that never loses its sweetness!) eyes stubbornly stuck on the place where, I imagine, I can no longer walk on tiptoes and keep my shivering chest above water, the place where I’m forced to embrace the water or retreat. I’m not the run-and-dive type. For me, it’s a slow walk. First my lower legs (that’s easy). Then my thighs (harder). As the water comes up to the top of my bikini bottoms, laps at my navel, I realize I’m in for the full immersion. That’s the point where there is no going back. One step, maybe two deeper, and then I always let go. Spread my arms out and fall forward, as though I’m leaning into the arms of some trusted beloved. Fall, and then swim.
I can’t find image credits for either of these images. So if one is yours, please forgive. They are both so inspiring—one sinister, the other sweet, but both made me thirsty for summer.