A Delightfully Chilly Swim at Greenwood Furnace

It has been a stressful week here, what with funerals and big death anniversaries and all. And I haven't mentioned it but I twisted my ankle last weekend and had a few days where I could barely walk. Sometimes life kicks all the stuffin's out of you and leaves you emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausted. So we decided we needed to take a day off from regular life, and go swimming!

It had been a while since we'd been to Greenwood Furnace, almost a month. In fact, the last time we went to Whipple Dam, we really intended to go to Greenwood. But Greenwood had failed its water test that time. This is how it worked out that we had three swims at Whipple Dam in 11 days. (See here, here, and here.) That might be a new record. But we are still making up for lost time at Whipple, as it was closed for more than a year.

So on this day, we set out with a plan, which was to go to Couch's for a delicious hot lunch, then head to Greenwood Furnace for a cold swim, followed by a lazy afternoon of hanging out, and reading our books under the shady trees.

But that was not how it worked out. We got to Couch's exactly at noon, and there was a line. It would have been at least 15 to 20 minutes just to wait our turn to order our meals. So, with stomachs growling, we decided to leave, and go swim, and then come back later. After that, we might stop at Whipple Dam for a short walk, and a sit; but not a second swim.

Here is a lovely view of one of our favorite swimming holes: Greenwood Furnace. It is also the coldest swimming spot we know of locally, which is a plus for me. I am a very mentally busy person, with lots of thoughts running all through my head, for better or worse.

The gift the cold water gives me is to STILL all of those thoughts and give me peace. For during the time I am swimming, I am perfectly empty of any thoughts about the past or future: there is only the quiet, silky coldness of the water, the sun and blue sky and puffy clouds overhead, the smell of just-water, the present moment, pure and beautiful.

So we had our delightful swim, and it was everything I had hoped it would be. The water actually seems COLDER now in late July than it was in late June; go figure! In August, perhaps it will become chillier yet. Wouldn't that be awesome?

And then we went and ate our hot lunches like ravenous wolves, and we stopped and hiked at Whipple Dam, and read our books there, and came home whenever we felt like it, at the end of what was pretty much a perfect summer day! Just what we needed!

My soundtrack song is this one, and I am grateful for the peace-giving qualities of these cold, clean waters: George Winston, with Peace.

Bonus: a story of that time an old Amish lady and I stood by these waters, holding hands.

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