Pre-dawn wild swimming to celebrate the solstice

Happy Solstice

Happy Winter Solstice!

This morning I celebrated the solstice by jumping into the 7am, pre-dawn sea. My friends and I watched the light rise over the horizon as the icy water bit at our skin – it was so cold that we couldn’t breathe normally, and the sea was choppy and harsh. Something about the struggle to wrestle the tide and breathe deeply made being alive feel even more special than normal.

Three of my more intrepid friends made the leap with me, the kind of friends that make even winter feel warm. One generously brought delicious, honeyed chai and we stood, shaking, in a cloud of clove and cinnamon steam.

The sea washed away everything: a headache, a sore throat, tiredness, worries, and, for a moment, my anger at the political and personal hot mess that has been 2018. Bring on the log fire and roast chestnuts, the mulled wine and sharp, fresh tangerines; time to celebrate food and shelter, and support those who don’t have these things. This is not the time for a political rant, but it prompts political thought.

It’s a time of quiet between the old year and the next, and then my favourite season, the new year, starts.

Let it all begin again.

The quiet, dark dawn of winter

flick a pea