Walking in, the excitement and dread runs through my body. It is a different kind of adrenalin rush, it’s slow – it has an undercurrent of foreboding topped by a wave of pleasure.
Your feet hit the water and you think its not too bad today, every time.
You stride in and the creeping cold wraps itself like fat juicy tentacles around your thighs as the water suddenly hits the place where the flame usually burns.
You conquer it and stride forward; battered by wave after wave, but you continue stoically.
I often scream, I don’t need to but I like to.
You get to the torso, it takes the breath away but you continue, you keep on breathing. Always at this point you decide you can’t make it this time and you think about turning back. You can’t turn back because that would be worse. So you only go forward.
The breasts – protecting the heart – feel the pain so sharply in this pact with the sea. The icy cold water needles them, your masochistic tendencies make you smirk. This is the danger point. I gasp and I realise I am holding my breath. Exhale.
As a try to override the innate flight reflex I say to myself “I am Cliodna, the daughter of Manannan”
I really am a daughter of Manannan; I have felt the wrath of his anger on the island where I grew. The sea has been in my life since I was born. I have sailed stormy seas and survived many times over.
The power of Cliodna pushes me as I sink my body into the water with a sigh, a deep blissful sigh that silences everything except a faint flatline I hear between my ears. The water feels like a white energy field absorbing into me at a cellular level. Suspended by the cold, head above the torpor, living, breathing, alive, really really alive. Tingling sensations making me laugh out loud as I move my legs and arms and the water rushes in everywhere.
Nothing matters in that moment, I don’t even know who I am, and I don’t even care.
Just a body in the sea. A creature, a goddess, back to nature; reborn every time.
I never want to leave.