Squishy Swim Toes of Summer

Growing up in the Maritimes you learn to swim in the Atlantic Ocean. Some might say the water is cold, we call it refreshing on a humid, sticky day of summer, and the salt water cures what ails you. My sisters and I would swim until our toes and fingers were soft and squishy, wrinkled from the water; – the best part of summer.

While most of our swims were in the Atlantic Ocean at Caribou / Munroes Island, we frequented the Mira River in Cape Breton Country, Smileys, Kejimkujik and Shubenacadie parks, and Rissers Beach. While attending UPEI, I enjoyed Cavendish and Brackley Beach on the Green Gables Shore of the Island.

Just this past week I started swimming in the lakes of Vancouver Island, BC. First Elk Lake, known for its training of Olympic rowing athletes. The night we were there, the super moon rose and glistened on the lake. The sandy bottom and warm waters were calming and soothing.

Next, Langford Lake at the bottom of my street. While we hike frequently around the lake, we spent little time swimming in “my lake”. Given the above average temperatures in Victoria, we decided to swim in the lake every evening the warm weather afforded. Swimming in the lake I was mesmerized at the flood of memories from my childhood as I swam, and the joy swimming brought to my sisters and I each summer. The family vacations across the province of Nova Scotia and the treasured times I soon won’t forget.

My husband asked me why I had not swam in the lakes sooner. I told him I was afraid how I would look in my bathing suit. I gathered the courage to put on my suit by giving myself a mental pep talk. I convinced myself it did not matter how people looked at me or how I perceived myself in my bathing suit. Surprisingly, I was impressed at how very little anyone cared how I looked in my swimsuit and could not catch one look or sneer at me. I was overjoyed at the comfort, joy and happiness my lake brought me, and truly forgot about my insecurities. I cannot wait for tomorrow’s swim in my lake.

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