Every morning I swim between the cedars, these ones and the ones you can’t see, their branches hanging so low I can touch them as I turn in the water. There are 3 of them sharing the same roots. Mine were the only footprints.
Every morning I swim and listen. Last week a family of loons appeared on the surface of the water just beyond where I was listening. I heard them before I saw them. One of them kept warbling. Was it to urge the others to dive and swim? Was it scolding the laggard who couldn’t keep up? I heard them, I stopped my own swim to watch them just about 10 feet away, and when I looked again, they were gone. Not into air, not into water.
Every morning I think as I swim. I think about the sky, its huge arc above me, the moon still wide awake some days. I watch the scribble of a jet trail appear and disappear. This morning the ravens were off in the woods talking. They didn’t arrive to walk around in the sand while I swam, wondering if it was worth looking through my towels for bright objects to fly away with. They didn’t sit in the cedars and mutter.
What was different this morning? Bear scat at the top of the parking area. A robin flying in great agitation from ocean spray to saskatoon bush, making small worried sounds. She’s got a nest, we told each other, and looked away as we got into the car so she wouldn’t worry more.
What was different? The water level was high because of weeks of rain. A little seasonal creek just beyond the cedars. Mine weren’t the only footprints.