Today I swam my first swim of 2023 in Camlough Lake, I have occasionally dipped over the winter months at the lake and had a bit of a swim in the sea on March and April, today was the first longer distance. It felt great to be back.
In June 2020, not yet able to see clients I committed to swim every day in June as a way to complete a charity swim for Children In Crossfire that I had started in the pool in March 2020. Of all the reasons I could have had for not completing the fundraising effort, swimming pools closing because of a global pandemic certainly wasn’t on the list, however just two short weeks into the journey that’s exactly what happened and the rest of we know is History.
My friend and fellow Therapist Ciara joined me and we did exactly that, we dipped or swam every day.
Sometimes it was easy, other days not so much. However we did it and by the end of the month we had gathered up a few others who also wanted to try it and didn’t have anyone to go with. A group of us swam and had cake and so the WhatsApp group “cake at the lake was born” within a few months with numbers rapidly increasing we had some people swimming at the lake others in the sea at Warrenpoint we even created our own meeting point, affectionately known as KP or Kelly’s point
The group now consists of over 100 members, connections and friendships have been formed, special moments shared, with laughter, vulnerability, a gentle hug or a kind "I’m here" spoken or unspoken.
Some swim in wetsuits, some in swimsuits, some dip, some swim, some excited for the distance markers to appear, watching time and temps others there for the scenery and the connection with water and for others the warm drink on a cold day.
This is community and I am extremely grateful for it.
Today Ciara and another friend Siobhan joined me and we were treated to the company of what I’m pretty sure was a cormorant. I first connected with a Cormorant while walking with a friend on a beautiful beach in Kerry a couple of years ago. For me nature always has a message. The cormorant today was no different.
“When Cormorant Spirit Animal swoops into your awareness, it’s time to dive deep into yourself and discern what it is you crave. Then, the Cormorant takes you one step further into taking resourceful action. It knows you understand your true wants and needs; now you just have to go for it!
For those people who have felt uneasy about a new, unusual, challenging, or thorny situation where things feel foreign, Cormorant, as a Spirit Animal, helps you take the leap of faith. Cormorant says, “It is time to embrace the unknown. You are overthinking things. Let your heart lead you. Despite how you may feel, the challenge here is a blessing in disguise.”
Many times, Cormorant Spirit Animals come to those about to engage in community service. In nature, the Cormorant dries their wings in the sun. The creature poses the question, “When do you come out into the light of the day and open your wings?” Look to the sky, offer your gratitude, then fly. “
If you have been considering connecting with nature through the open water perhaps this is the message you needed to hear today.
You may also wish to check out this beautiful book. https://www.changingcyclescommunity.com/product-page/she-of-the-sea
She of the Sea is a strange and wonderful deep dive into the inner sea and the Feminine, exploring where the real and the magical, the salty and the sacred meet, within and without, and what implications this has for us as both individuals…and a species in these tumultuous times.
Dreamlike, meditative, poetic, She of the Sea is a love song. To the ocean. To becoming. To magic. To freedom.