There’s the walk up to where you’re going
A little trepidation
A warm glow appearing as you trek
Chat about what the temperature might be
Then you arrive
Then comes the dance
Hopping and stumbling into your costume
Pulling on neoprene socks and gloves
And the obligatory woolly hat
No one does it with complete grace
You have a sense of practicality
But yet again you chat about the water temperature
Even on your own you have that little natter
You might be sharing your tarn with others
Those with the technical stuff drop in a thermometer
Gently you move forward
To the edge
One foot then the other
Tippy toes
Testing the water step by step
Up to your knees and then your hips
Shallow breaths and whoops as you remember to breath
A quick turn to the shoreline
It’s still there
And a swan like first breaststroke
You are in
Head fills with emptiness
Concentration on your limbs
Gentle strokes
And with time you’re out again
A quick dip
Your head feels different
Ever so careful tiptoeing in and out
Your carefulness homage to the water
Only a fool tests the depth of water with both feet!