There is a certain something as you dive deep into any body of water, of being submerged and engulfed by the liquid, that feels quite alright by me. It is refreshing, liberating even. It is nice to arch the back, take one last gulp of fresh air and then push down deep into the water, to feel that last kick of your legs in the air as you descend near vertical as the water embraces you in a tight fluid hug. If I get chance I will happily swim anywhere I can, though as of late the sea and the local swimming pool have been my areas of contentment.
Almost a year and a half ago I had the opportunity to swim in the German lakes, SW of Berlin, and it was a chance I took often, and with great relish. Half way around the lake I discovered that there was a patch of secluded sandy soil, where the grasses fed into the water with reeds swaying lightly either side of this little enclave. It was perfect, it was heavenly. Away from the main ‘commercial’ area of the busy lake, it was a nest of shelter and calm. It was to be there that I swam naked for the first time in public, clear under the midday sun. It was pure bliss. On busier days it was where I swam with an old couple, out into the open water, where I saw young couples in the full bloom of love snuggle and hug in the warm shallows, and where I saw young families enjoying the company of each other, of brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers.
It is not just the inherent beauty of swimming in water that I find relaxing and comforting, rather it is the pure escape, of experiencing a wholly different environment from which we are used to spending our time in. It is bliss, pure and simple.