Poem: On Being a Leaf

sleeping-beauty
Autumn washes over me and I feel the rhythms within shifting and slowing just as I witness the earth and nature around me settling in for winter. Taking a hike with the boys in the woods I felt much energy in the death and decay surrounding us knowing it simply gives way to new life. My own caterpillar heart is filled with summer sustenance prepari...
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Moonset Swimming at Dawn: Treacherous Enchantment

moon-over-sea Harvest Moon 21 Sept 2021 from the Sea
Tuesday (21 Sept 2021) will live in my body and mind in a powerfully visceral way for a long time. Before waking I had a brief vague dream, right on the edge of consciousness. Bold capital letters, first in red then in black, flashed across my forehead: FEAR, FEAR. I awoke, disturbed. A premonition? Assessing, I told myself, There's nothing to...
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Poem: Shard [on grief] by Lily Robinson

Shard-on-grief-2 Shard [on grief]: I coil and shudder in pain.
Lily Robinson, a wild swimmer and poet from the UK, commented that my relationship with the ocean inspired her. Our connection sparked a unique collaboration between us, her words, my visuals and narration. May Lily's evocative words and my images help you find the courage to face and move through y...
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the water and me by katie and crow

kate-crow-rewilding-in-river
Entranced by katie's nature and soul moving poems that she publishes through her Instagram account (@katieandcrow), I am very pleased that she composed two water-inspired poems for the Wild Swimmer Stories series. Both -the eden that we share- and The Water and Me remind and challenge us to connect with ourse...
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My Octopus Friend: The Embrace (Part 3)

final-farewell Final Farewell After the Embrace
In Part 3 of my octopus encounters series, I move from the porch of the Doorway to Wonder and enter into Mof's (My Octopus Friend's) den. Here is what happened when I took that risky, leap of faith. In overflowing the cup, the master shows the man how he must let go of that which he already thinks he knows – he must empty his cup – in order to real...
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Getting Caught in the Rip by Hamza Idrissi

casablanca-beach-danny-lau Casablanca, Morocco. Photo: Danny Lau
Fear and panic can turn a pleasant wild swim into a nightmare when suddenly things go wrong in the sea. Many people who spend time around the ocean swimming or boating will probably have a story to tell about a brush with death either about themselves or someone else. Fortunately, most people live to tell their stories such as&n...
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The Whirlpool

The-whirlpool-cover
Swimming at Dawn began to recount my journey to the sea. Journeys, though, evolve and take on new life as the path unfolds. I love immersing myself in all forms of water and while I was swimming in the sea, I was also going to the pool or taking hikes with my family along riverways and inspiring spots that simply called out to me and begged to...
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Queen of the Winter Sea by Linnea Olsson

GOT Linnea of the Winter Sea by @emilgvsson
Linnea's love of Sweden's winter sea captured my attention in her story on the Instagram account The Sea Story Collective (@theseastorycollective). I asked her to elaborate on how someone might love freezing, cold water, horizontal winds and adverse conditions for their wild swimming more than the bliss of a beautiful summe...
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Poem: The Wave of Doubt

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We're All Interconnected: Womb Pool Reveries

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I made this short video after a sunrise immersion in a calm pool in late March 2021. The immersive experience was not just in the water but in the entire tidepool environment where stillness and observation helped open my eyes to the many wonders always around us but which often go unperceived due to our inability to 'see'. I'm aware I've only...
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365: Coming Full Circle

P3140043-3 The Waves Call Me Home on Day 365
365Tears upon the shoreLaughter into the windJoy in the wavesA year swimming at dawnA gift of a lifetime!  In mid-March 2021 swimming at dawn for one year came full circle. I swam or immersed myself every day, at least once, for 12 months, four seasons, 52 weeks, 13 moon phases, 365 days. I am not a numbers person but I am proud of this empowe...
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The Ocean Gives Me Strength

IMG_20201223_093230-3 Don't Mess With Me Unless You Want to Face the Sea. Stand strong and believe in yourself.
My simple ocean song states, "The Ocean it speaks, it speaks to me, it speaks through me." Many things it says, but over and over, loud and clear, it says: Be strong! Believe! Mesmerizing vitality, power, limitless energy, beauty, constant change and ruthlessness all well up from the ocean's unfathomable depths inspiring, moving and motivating me. ...
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My Body the Ocean: Swimming My Song

P9230134-2 My Body the Ocean - I sing my song to the sea.
Even with the windows closed, I can hear the deep, powerful resonance of the ocean, a 20-minute walk away from my house. I live on a hill that looks down upon the sea. It's too far to hear individual waves crashing but close enough for the collective roar to float up and surround my consciousness as a constant presence. Even though I am often not a...
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Finding Calm in the Norwegian Winter Sea by Linn Krogh Hansen

IMG_20210208_190904_095-2 Linn swimming butterfly along a glacier 80 degrees North near Spitsbergen, Norway
I feel boundless respect and admiration for winter cold water and ice swimmers who brave the harshest elements to immerse and swim in extreme conditions. Many cold water swimmers experience powerful mental and physical well-being by exposing themselves to ice and cold and the temporary discomfort is amply compensated, and even relished, as part of ...
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The Language of Water by Helen Edwards

Underwater-world5-2 In her waters my body's words come to life and I know her language deep within me. - Helen Edwards
Helen's @artallotment was one of the first wild swimming Instagram accounts I began to follow when I started my @dawn_swimmer account in July 2020. Her artistic photos and often simple yet profound words struck a deep chord within me. Then I learned that Helen's wild swimming wisdom comes from her unique sensitivity and way of p...
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A Winter Swim With Walt and Wyatt by Katharine Montstream

AfterlightImage-2 Wild swimming becomes poetry at Cotton Hollow in Glastonbury, CT
Poetry and wild swimming. The power of water, especially cold water, to open creative pathways takes many forms. Poems are not just words on a page but often a reflection of how one moves through life.  Kath Montstream (@redhotchillydippers) combines her actions and words in this beautiful poem taking us with...
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My Wild Heart by Sara Barnes

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With her wild heart, joy in nature's bounty and watery worlds as well as her desire to dig deep into the dark roots of the soul, Sara is a kindred spirit. Her photos, commentaries and video clips of her experiences in the northern UK captivate me and move me to continue my own exploration of the wild heart, the wild beauty. Than...
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365 Days - Day 60 - Two Month Recap

IMG_20200511_073027 60 Days at Dawn - My spirit soars to the sea like this eagle cloud in flight as it swoops down to the sea
When I wrote this on Day 60 I had no idea that I would still be swimming at dawn every day and now be close to Day 300 as I publish this. I am proud of my journey as I look back and see how far I have come and what I have done since then, a day I thought might be the last. Keep surprising yourself! Keep trusting the journey! The phot...
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Swimming the Knife Edge by The Elaborate Swimmer

IMG_8691-4 The Elaborate Swimmer - I face life with strength and beauty, creativity and fearlessness.
Cold. Knives. Edges. Water. Creativity. Pushing limits, pushing boundaries. Why do we do what we do? In this strikingly creative and powerful piece by the South African native and now Scottish Highlands resident, The Elaborate Swimmer takes us on her journey from cold to creativity and the power of the extreme to bring us into sharp reality wi...
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365 Days - Day 16: Facing the Wind

IMG_20200330_08104_20210110-194246_1 A violent dawn sky on the windy day. A cloud man swirls his arms blowing the wind towards the ocean.
It was just 'wind' when I wrote this on Day 16, just the beginning of my sea pilgrimage. From my open water swimming experiences I knew of course that different wind conditions can make swimming a great challenge. Also local weather knowledge tells us that wet storms blow from the SW and the cold wi...
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