I find myself all kitted out, layer upon layer of tops, covered in a jumper, wrapped in a jacket, covered with a waterproof jacket, a scarf hugging my neck and nicely topped off with a bobble hat, much like the cherry on the cake.
Around my neck hangs my camera, my heart is full of joy for stepping out of the norm and stepping into some time for me and for finally after years finding the confidence to pick up my camera once again to hopefully capture some moments.
I am aware my body has not been on its finest form of late so the decision to not join the other women in the sea swim is one that feels true to me and one I am proud of as I have heard my body, listened and respected its needs.
We gather on the sand, the waves are crashing against the sand, the moon hangs heavy in the daylight sky, full to bursting, commanding the sea closer and closer to the shore.
As we walk in silence, I start to look through the viewfinder, remembering that everything looks different, feels different if you just shift the focus. The camera was mirroring the silent walking, shifting the attention to ourselves, to our bodies, tuning in to what our minds and bodies need to ear in that moment.
As we came together in a circle, the sea played like a quite melody in the background, as our tones danced over the top as we introduced ourselves and became united as a tribe of women stood on the sandy shore.
As the swim approaches, the energy shifts, the tones become louder, more audible and the sea appears to echo, with the waves crashing in a constant rhythmic tone.
As the women step into the sea, the air is filled with laughter, chattering, and hollers of delight and shock as the sea rolls onto them. Within minutes they all turn, faces alight with joy, cheeks glowing a subtle pink and smiles as wide as you can imagine.
The energy is one of calm and peace, as they go through the ritual of drying and getting warm by the fire.
The tent awaits, we climb in and are held safe by the canvas and the energy of being together.
Gentle chatter commences as we think about our vision boards, the scissors cut, the pages tare, the glue glides it away across the paper. The 2 hours feels like 2 minutes as we all work to get our images and words onto the blank sheet before us.
The sound of the sea filters through the canvas, the moon is inviting the sea to dance, and to join us on the beach.
My vision board fills, and fills, my eyes are drawn to structure, buildings, nature and textures, a inherent want is using for below. What I felt I would carte has long left my. ind, my process has been taken over by a stronger will of my subconscious to create a vision of a idea myself and my partner have been playing with for a long time.
As I stick the final bits down, I sit back and marvel at the power of the mind, able to pull together what I need to see and to bring clarity to what has been a achingly hard decision for a long while.
The last few minutes felt like a blur, I was suddenly aware of where I was and the conversation sarong me. Together we shred and reflected on what we had carted, and it was clear in allowing that time for ourselves that all had found some time to explore our thoughts and bring them together in one place, allowing a light to shine our wants, needs and dreams.
As we step out of the tent, the lights and the air feels different, the fire is burning bright, and the sea has found its way to join with us, close to lapping at our ankles as we gather once again together on the sand.
The light starts to fade as we share our thoughts and bring the day to a close.
Buyoed by the day I set off home and know that the day has been the catalyst for new things to come, new friendships, new projects have been brought into being, new plans for my partner and I and a new exciting plan awaits on the horizon.
As for the photography, I captured some shots, renewed my love for photography and enjoyed being able to be creative in a way that has long felt lost.