The singular feature of yesterday’s ritual bicycle ride upon the beach was the sudden appearance of people swimming in the ocean. As I watched them I was instantly envious. The recollection of the swimmers has since invaded my thoughts. Repeatedly I have contemplated when it will be appropriate for me to wade among the crashing waves, to plunge into the depths, to restore that elemental connection we all reputedly have as erstwhile amphibians.

Origin: mid 17th century (in the sense having two modes of existence or of doubtful nature): from modern Latin amphibium an amphibian, from Greek amphibion (noun use of amphibios living both in water and on land, from amphi both + bios life).

My burgeoning adventure to tackle the North Atlantic Ocean unfolded with a relative “whimper” today as I decided instead to see about having a swim in the Sea Pines Resort Harbour Town pool. As residents of Cutter Court (directly across Lighthouse Lane from the Resort) we have a “pass” which entitles us to the use of the pool. The temperature today was about 75°F so while there were a number of sunbathers around the pool, the water is not heated until March 1st and accordingly there was only one person whom I initially saw wading into the shallow end.  She remarked succinctly upon my enquiry that the water was cold. And she was right.

I lay on a chaise longue until the burning sun became unbearable then I hobbled to the staircase at the lowest end of the pool. When I got into the pool I didn’t want to appear as decrepit as my walk had no doubt indicated. So I plunged under the water. There was no way to reverse the decision. It was cold!  But within moments I was imagining my response if asked, “How’s the water?”, and that was, “It’s the same old story: fine once you’re in!” I ended swimming to the deep end and back. Twice.

I naturally felt terribly athletic. The other sunbathers were seemingly not so impressed. My gusto was far from infectious. I struggled back to my chaise longue but not without hauling along a plastic chair to use as a support for getting on and off it.

After repeating this Olympic ceremony a couple more times I exhausted my immediate interest in the exhibition. Indeed I satisfied myself that I had risen to the challenge, that I had accomplished what only hours before had seemed impenetrable obstruction to fulfillment and personal achievement! Now it was time once again to revisit the usual benefit of cycling. My bicycle was parked just outside the entrance to the pool. I had used it to get from the apartment to the pool.

What remains is my ambition to swim in the ocean. My bathing suit now hangs at the ready in my bathroom. My beach towel is similarly at hand. The project is one that will grow as the weather improves. The evolution is now predictable. It has been two years since I’ve swum in the ocean.  I have the intention to swim again in the ocean before returning to Canada on April 11th.