Sunday, January 1, 2012

A New Year's Plunge

I had the pleasure of spending the first day of the new year at our house on the Cape. We couldn't have asked for a better day with temperatures in the low 50s, a clear blue sky, and the beach less than a mile away. So, we of course took the opportunity to run along the sand, but we also decided a little New Year's plunge was called for.

The first time we go in I am reluctant to plunge my bare and unprotected skin into the icy hands of a January Atlantic ocean. "Just run right in," Mom says as I stand shivering in my bathing suit. "Don't think." This is what I do, for it is exactly this type of hesitation that I don't want to bring to the new year. This year, this is what I must do. Run into life without second-guessing, eyes closed, arms above my head, ready to take the plunge. 

So the first time, I run in, dive under, and immediately run back out to the comfort of my warm clothes already turned right-side out and welcoming me home like a mother's loving arms. But, I did it to get it over with. I didn't even savor the moment underwater. No. This will not do.

Without speaking I turn around and dive back in, and for a moment I just sit there. Feel the icy water prick my skin and freeze my brain like too big a gulp of a milkshake. Then I am up again. I walk back to shore and already have my shorts on but still...something doesn't seem right. I should feel complete, refreshed. But I'm missing something. Part of me says, "Too late. It doesn't matter. No use." No. This year, there will be no, "too late." There will be no, "one time deal." I will try again and again until I get it right. So I strip off my shorts and head back to the water.

The third time I plunge, I am reborn. When I dive under the ripples, I let the cool water cleanse my body of all negative energies, all insecurities, regrets, feelings of remorse,  guilt, all woulda shoulda coulda's. I let it mend my scars and bruises and leave behind fresh and raw skin. I emerge. I flip my hair back and feel the sun warm my face. Complete, refreshed, reborn.

To top it off, as I head back to shore, I find a little heart rock nestled in the sand. White, pure, youthful, and full of promise.

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