Sunday, January 22, 2012


I have always been a bit of a romantic, a sentimentalist who enjoys looking backwards from behind rose-colored glasses. With a milestone birthday arriving this year, I find myself being particulary caught under the spell of warm and welcome nostalgia.

Certain songs can bring me right back, like audio time machines, I am instantly transported to a moment and place. I spent a semester in Ireland. Six months in a somewhat ancient world that was all new for me.

There was a weekend trip to the Aran Islands. A cold, January excursion to Inishmore with new friends. I felt like I was perched at the edge of the world. We took an evening walk onto the beach. The strand of sand was illuminated by a full moon that shone like a spotlight on the waves of the cold Irish Sea.

I can't remember how the idea first came to us or who thought of it, but something in the air and in the moonlight was spellbinding and convincing enough that running, naked, into the cold, wintry, Irish water was the most appropriate and necessary thing for a bunch of girls to do.

"Nightswimming" brings me right back in an split instant to that crystal-clear moment of youthful exuberance. Plunging, laughing, shrieking into the icy water, with no concern for modesty or practicality. Far from home, ripe with possibility and full of ambition.

Nightswimming deserves a quiet night.

With the opening notes, I can taste the salt water on my skin and get goosebumps from the frigid air. I smile thinking about the naked abandon, literally, that overtook us for just a few moments. Pure joy.

These things, they go away, replaced by everyday.

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