Dusk was just beginning to settle in when I walked down to the shore. Ursula and Andrew were getting ready to go to friends for dinner when C.C. and I had returned to Barry's Bay. A night on our own, we opted to stay in and enjoy our last night on the lake.
But first, I needed to dive in.
The weather has turned. Gentle rain falls like angels wings fluttering on the breeze, it caresses my skin as I walk through the trees to the water.
I'm debating. Fast and furious.
Seriously? It's only 13C out (about 56F). It's cold. There's no sun. You don't have to do this.
But I do.
Have to do it.
It's my deal. With me. With life. With the Universe. I will leap. No matter what.
I stand at the end of the dock and give myself a pep talk. All the things I know about why jumping in is good.
I'm not convinced.
OK, I ask myself. What will it take?
No clothes. Nada. Swimsuit off.
I look around.
The rain is so gentle it's barely visible against the water's surface. The trees on the far shore reflect back to me the silky darkness of the depths.
There are only four cottages on this bay and two of them have been boarded up for winter, the owners retreated back to city homes where they await another summer on the bay.
Andrew's brother and sister-in-law are home next door. Lights shine out through trees that are quickly losing all remaining leaves. There is no one stirring about.
C'mon. You can do it, the voice of 'cast your fate to the wind' cajoles me. Take it off.
I look around again.
No animals appear to rescue me. No boats upon the lake. Just me. A gentle rain. A soft evening light and the water. Dark and mysterious waiting for me.
I remind myself again why leaping in is good. It feels great when you get out. It's invigorating. It's fun.
Fun? Oh right. This is fun.
I stare some more into water. Maybe there's some deep sea monster lurking?
If you take your swimsuit off you'll have no choice but to jump in, the voice hisses. You can't stand here naked on the dock.
Sometimes 'the voice' makes absolutely no sense.
And so, despite my voice of reason's attempts to drown that other voice, I strip out of my swimsuit and leap.
The water hits me.
I dive to the bottom.
(Did I mention cold?)
I swim upwards.
I break the surface. Spluttering. Screaming. Laughing. I swim back to the ladder. Climb out. Grab my terry cloth robe and quickly wrap it around my body.
It's actually not all that bad.
Not really all that cold.
Okay, maybe a little bit.
But I do feel just like I thought I would. Exhilarated. (smug too - I don't see anyone else leaping at the opportunity to dive into the frigid waters of a Northern Ontario lake in mid-October).
and.... The worst didn't happen.
No. Not someone seeing me.
I didn't die.
Because truly, that's what I was thinking might happen... The cold would hit my naked skin. Some deep sea monster would swoop in. Startled to see all that flesh squirming about in the water, it would lunge. Grab me into its giant mouth and swallow me whole. C.C., snug in the house, wouldn't know I'd disappear into the belly of some giant, vile monster. Eventually, the absence of my laughter and screams from the water would surface through his concentration of the hockey game and he'd come in search.
and the only sign of where I'd gone would be my swimsuit lying on a towel on the dock.
And it didn't happen.
See, sometimes worry is just a way to avoid doing what we really want to do. Sometimes, worry is just an excuse to hold onto not taking the leap.
I leapt again!
This time, I did it naked.
Completely exposed to the elements.
And I loved it!
Might just have to do it again before we leave today!
May you leap naked into life, letting go of the stories that would hold you back from living in the rapture of now.