We swam in Long Pond today, our first open water swim of the season. Coming down to the water, the sun was low across the pond and full on summer hot. Two years ago the water didn’t warm up enough to swim until well into June and we were still wearing wet suits in July. Last year I heard from my neighbors, the second week in June, that they’d been swimming Memorial Day weekend. It’s been a hot week, so after a hot day of gardening, we thought we’d try it.
The water was dark and thick with pine pollen and plenty warm to swim. After a winter of crawling up and down the 25 yard pool at the Y, minding the lane, making room for other swimmers, turning every 30 seconds, turning, turning, chlorine scent on my skin all day, using up the boredom of the back and forth to try to zone out, it felt gloriously free to just swim. Arm out and up to the sky and turning my face to breathe and seeing the trees on the shoreline, swimming and swimming and swimming and only turning after covering the quarter mile width of the pond. This is swimming; this is summer.