It’s quiet out there these days. I’m still getting out for an ocean swim, but it’s a solo affair. The exercise keeps me sane and calm and is an excellent reason to leave the house for a break.
I like to survey the beach and the ocean before I swim. What’s the wind doing, can I find any blue bottles washed up on the beach, is there a strong rip current. It’s also reassuring to see other swimmers out. I couldn’t see any heads bobbing up and down behind the break, but it was gorgeous and bright out there, so I waded in and ducked under the first wave. I paused and trod water after I made it around the point. It was an excellent spot to get my bearing, adjust my goggles, and see who else was out there. I saw a swimmer heading towards me. He had goggles and cap on, and I recognized him as someone I’d seen during my early morning swims. He slowed down and stopped a couple of feet from me. Yes, there was even social distancing in the Pacific Ocean. We both floated for a bit, and then we smiled at each other. I asked him about his swim, and he gave me some advice about the current and the water temperature. He could see I was a bit reluctant to head into open water on an uncrowded day, so he gave me a few words of encouragement and then pulled away towards the beach. That final boost of motivation was all I needed. I tested my goggles, adjusted my cap, and swam away from the beach.
Two human bodies in a larger body of water connected for a second, and then we went on our way. It was energizing interaction in a moment where we aren’t quite sure about how to connect and talk to each other during our hibernation state.