Sometimes it's like this
And sometimes it's not.
I am sitting in the dining porch of our cabin on Georgian Bay looking out at my favorite view in the known universe on a glorious morning with a slight breeze. I just took a dip down at the dock and the water was so cold I couldn’t even say “Oh my god this is cold” or with chattering lips say “this is so refreshing”, or even give a small scream, no it was just so cold that all I could do was focus on getting in and out and no energy could be focused on any other activity. How a dip works, for the uninitiated is that you have to go in twice at least, once to get wet and then come out to soap up and then once to rinse. When it’s the first dip of the season and you don’t have a clue to what the temp is that first plunge is a plunge of faith, where you suspect you are doing something idiotic but shrug your shoulders and plunge on. As the icy cold hits you when you are underwater and realizing what an idiot you are, you are doing your olympic underwater twisting pretzel move to get yourself turned around and surfacing as close to the ladder as possible. Trying not to think about what is happening you grab the ladder and pull yourself back onto the dock. You then have this realization that “You Survived!”, “You Are Still Alive”, in the giddiness of this moment you think that you can do anything and you grab the Dr. Brauners peppermint soap and suds up your hair and body, slap some toothpaste on a toothbrush and head over to the edge of the dock and pause, look at the water, realize that you have to go in again because how the heck will you get all this soap and toothpaste rinsed off anyway. You wonder for an instant “Should I just have had the one dip and have forgotten about soaping up?”, you contemplate on the journey of your life to this point and wonder just when it was that you got stupid enough to be in this predicament. You start planning how you dive in from the dock and spend the absolute minimum amount of time in the water as possible and still get the soap out of your hair. You realize that you are buck naked and standing on the edge of a dock for the last 3 hours (you are slightly exaggerating things to yourself in this time of insanity and delusion) with a soaped up body and who knows who could come by in a boat at any moment. Having done the physics and figured out the angles and moves and twists and scrubs and rubs you slowly lean forward in your six year old diving position filled with terror and dread and SPLASH. You are in the water perfectly executing your rinse scrubs while twisting and turning your way to the ladder. As you break the surface you know that you are completely rinsed and mouth is cleaned and you are pulling yourself up the ladder and heading to the towel. As you are toweling off you realize that you have never felt so clean and awake and refreshed. On the path up from the dock you are already thinking about tomorrows dip and a smile comes on your face as you feel how alive you are in every cell of your body and soul. You have just taken a dip early in the season at the cottage in Georgian Bay and you feel remarkably virtuous and special.
I try to start every day out like that. Some days I just don’t have the courage or the fortitude and usually spend some part of the day in regret, disappointment or “tired”. So when I am up here, it’s best to add to my morning practice a dip.
The buzz of the 3 and a half days of driving across the country is starting to wear off and be replaced by the fresh air and beauty of this place and as each chunk of buzz breaks off and floats away in the breath of beauty I land in this place that much more.
I am doing well with the 1/3 aspect of things and there is some tightening that I have to do as this is a place associated with grazing and eating and drinking whatever and whenever. So I am in the process of checking out new ways of restraint and moderation with what I put into my body. 2/3s is a bit of a challenge with the water so cold, as it was my plan to swim every day and until the weather warms up a bit and the water with it swimming is out of the question, dipping isn’t, but swimming is. So I am looking at other ways that will be enjoyable as I wait for the water to warm up. I also want to meditate every day while I am up here, and I have some writing assignments to pay attention to. So I do have a bit of “stuff” to pay attention to as I move around in this paradise.