I had it in my calendar, but she didn’t have it in hers, so I found myself in town with a morning for whatever I wanted to mosey after. The sky was bright blue and high, the sun was hot even close to the lake, and Superior herself was glassy and calm. So I took myself down to Artist’s Point.
The book and tarot cards didn’t make it out of the backpack, but the notebook did, and I sat much closer to the water than I ever had before on rocks that were usually hidden by continues waves, and I shuffled my thoughts and laid them out line by line to get a better look.
But that sun was hot. And my shorts would dry quickly. And the rock made a ledge that dropped off into a channel of yellow, blue, and turquoise… So I took off my shirt, hesitated in a sort of genuflection for a few moments, and dove in.
Oh, it was good! Good to enter the water from the edge of the rock rather than from the height of the breakwall. Good to go unnoticed, though I’ve so often enjoyed the horrified and impressed looks tourists give when they realize you’re about to take the plunge. (More and more this is my favorite thing: to do it for myself without any audience at all). And good to go from hot to cold, from gas to liquid, from impervious to mortal and animal.
I laid on the sun-warmed basalt afterwards. Paddle boards and kayaks and gleaming ducks went by. People clambered and took photos further up the slope. I turned myself from one side to another, baking evenly (and hoping I wasn’t getting burned– I was).
I went in twice more, no pauses in between this time. There’s something about three submersions in the Big Lake. The first reminds me that I can, that, no, I won’t die even though my body’s instincts are sending very appropriate messages.
The second is to Do without Resistance.
And the third is the “real thing;” it’s actually being present– all worries have been addressed and disproven or mediated, and now it’s just me and the water, me and the smooth and surprising cold, me and the rock under my hands and feet as I climb out.
The people came and went. So did my peace of mind, my present-ness. I think the point is to return to it. To dive into the Self three times, knowing that the first one is a good start, but not at all the whole story, that the second is for courage, and the third is where, as in any fairytale, the transformation happens.