It’s hard to sum up the feeling of my swim this evening.
Following an evening’s performance at Trebah Gardens to a very full house, mostly dressed in Dryrobes 😆 , I invited the audience to come and swim with me down on the private beach. It was like watching a trail of ants as all these (mostly women) folk walked down the garden path to the sea. Over 150 people stripped off on the pebbles and then suddenly 2 seals bobbed their heads out right near the shore to see what all the commotion was! And then we all got in! And the seals hung around for a bit too.
And there was crying and laughing and squeals of delight as we all bobbed around together.
There was this constant stream of swimmers who swam over to me and shared in their stories- similar stories of tragedy and loss, like the show, but a feeling of release having watched the show and then swam. It was absolutely electric. I was in the sea for quite a long time and was already cold when getting in, having performed outside, but as I shook and tried to warm myself, I was surrounded by women telling me more stories and buying the Charlie bobble hat, and asking for autographs (😆) but it was wonderful and warming.
Claire, who had already been in touch prior to the show had asked to swim together so she introduced herself and we attempted to have a conversation about why she swims (there were a lot of giddy women chatting to us), but I did pick up from Claire how she’d started swimming only a few years ago and her and her friend/colleague set themselves a sea challenge- swimming around St Micheal’s Mount, which they completed. Claire’s friend Helen commented how she liked the line in the show which says “this water isn’t mine”.
Helen said that resonated as often you can feel like it is your water as you love and need it so much.
That’s the biggest thing that I’ll take from all of these swims with people around the various locations I’ve been to: there’s a commonality amongst us all and that is the water, and we share in that; we’re not alone nor should we keep it to ourselves.
A memory I will never ever forget today.