Every day since I arrived home from Australia (April 21st - the day after Liane died) I have swam in the sea. It started as a way of keeping her close; doing an activity she loved (an activity that we loved) gave me comfort. It also allowed me spend time with one or two like-minded friends who have been amazing supports - listening, caring, talking things through - nothing off the table and everything heard with a gentle understanding. At the weekends the group gets bigger - people travel from across the city to spend time in the sea as she did and to share their mornings with me.
Being in the cold water (currently about 10 degrees C) clears your mind. You don't have time to think or to process. With the cold comes a clarity as your body reacts to the sudden change. I adore this simple feeling. Despite all the early starts, the cold strip downs to the togs, the stiff winds or the almost daily apprehension, the swimming has given me strength of mind and body. It has acted as a tonic for my battered psyche. It has become as much part of my routine as getting up and going to sleep and I hope it will stay with me for life. Writing that makes me think, once more, that this is a lesson Liane taught me, concreted by her early departure.